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Hardware sits along the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., on June 8, 2017.The Canadian Press

Enbridge Inc., Canada’s largest pipeline operator, said on Wednesday about 800 employees have opted for voluntary buyouts, as the company tries to reduce costs to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and the global oil price shock.

In an email response to Reuters, Calgary-based Enbridge said it was offering employees the option to voluntarily select early retirement, severance, leaves of absence or part-time work.

“As a result of these actions, we won’t need to pursue company-wide layoffs at this time,” a company spokesperson said.

Enbridge is also reducing base pay across its non-union workforce in the range of 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

A recent plunge in global crude prices due to a pandemic-driven drop in demand and excess supply has battered Canada, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer.

Last month, Enbridge said it has deferred $1 billion in capital spending and cut costs by $300 million, including salary cuts and retirements.

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