Quebecor plans to cut 650 jobs at Videotron


Montreal, - Quebecor Inc. wants to cut the workforce at its cable TV company Videotron by 40 per cent by selling its cable installation branch, Montreal La Presse reported Wednesday.

The installations arm would be sold to Entourage Solutions. Data processing services would also be contracted out, the newspaper

There are 656 of Videotron's 1,900 employees who are involved in cable hook-ups.

A spokeswoman for Entourage confirmed the company made an offer to buy Videotron's cable installation services.

Vice-president Chantal Lauzier said the 30-day offer expires on Monday.

Discussions between Quebecor and Entourage, a company created by former Bell Canada employees, have been going on as Videotron's union continues contract talks with Quebecor.

Quebecor lost $241.7 million in 2001, partly because of writedowns on some subsidiaries and costs related to its acquisition of Videotron last year.

The company, following the release of its fourth-quarter results earlier this month, said it will take a major writedown in the value of Videotron, which it bought last year for $5.4 billion after a controversial tug-of-war with Toronto-based Rogers Communications

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