An Ottawa customer service centre is laying off 800 people, moving work to the Philippines. Convergys notified employees of the layoffs on Monday, after AT&T in the Unites States cancelled a contract with the company.
Employees will keep their jobs until April 18, when the contract officially ends. The move will leave only 100 employees working out of the company’s office on Heron Road.
Convergys confirmed the layoffs in a statement released to CTV Ottawa on Tuesday. When contacted for further comment, company spokesperson Amy Williams said: “I have a meeting to go to. I have nothing more to say.” Outside the company’s office on Heron Road, employees said they weren’t surprised to learn they’d be losing their jobs. “I’m not surprised. It’s the way this business is,” said one worker. “I’ve been laid off before; I’ll be laid off again,” said another.
Employees told CTV Ottawa they were told the layoffs were the result of a strong Canadian dollar, which is making the salaries of Ottawa employees too expensive. Now, the company will shift more of its work to the Philippines.
Convergys reported its fourth-quarter earnings for 2009 on Tuesday, boasting $684 million in revenue. The job cuts in Ottawa follow 500 layoffs announced at the company’s Winnipeg call centre in December. A company statement at the time said the decision was the result of economic conditions that led to a drop in call volumes at the Winnipeg site.
In 2008, the company laid off 1,000 workers at three offices in Alberta.
Convergys specializes in customer service and human resource management, employing about 70,000 employees in 83 offices across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.