New Glasgow call centre to close, lay off 300 people

Staff ~ The News
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Convergys in New Glasgow. 

TC MEDIA 

Employees at the New Glasgow Convergys were told today that the company is closing the location Sept. 28.

Spokeperson Brooke Beiting said the employees were given notice and told they can apply for work at home positions or other internal positions.

The location opened in October 2001 and currently employees 300 people, making it a major, full-time employer in the Pictou county town. After the closure of the contact centre in New Glasgow, the company's only remaining location in the province will be in Cape Breton.

Bad news travelled fast throughout Convergys today as employees heard they would be losing their jobs in a few months.  Many sitting outside the call centre hadn’t yet heard the news directly from the source, but they were already thinking about how it would affect the employees and the county.

Michele Ferguson, of Westville, has been at Convergys for four years after getting laid off from Bell Aliant.

“I managed to go through it once. I’ll manage to go through it again,” she said.

Coming only three months after Michelin’s announcement that it would be shutting down part of its production, many Convergys employees were questioning what it would mean for jobs in Pictou County. 

“The county is going to be hit hard,” Ferguson said.

She said she believes neighbouring businesses will feel the loss with several workers heading to Sobeys, Giant Tiger and the dollar store on their lunch breaks.

Ferguson said her children are grown, but she was worried about how others are going to manage.

“Who is going to hire someone at (age) 60?” one employee said, adding that there are several couples working at the centre, who will lose their entire household income.

It wasn’t only about the loss of a job. For one woman, she said she was losing her friends.

“We’re a big happy family,” she said. “I’ve called in sick twice in nine years.”

Several employees declined to comment as they hadn’t yet received notice and were still processing the information. 

Organizations: Convergys, Bell Aliant, Sobeys Giant Tiger

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Pictou County, Cape Breton Westville

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