Sykes closing Corner Brook call centre

Diane Crocker
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Sykes Enterprises Ltd. is closing its Corner Brook call centre site effective Aug. 29.

Sykes Enterprises Ltd. is closing its Corner Brook call centre.

Andrea Thomas, director of communications with Sykes, confirmed the closure of the site, located in the Valley Mall, on Wednesday afternoon.

“We announced to our employees (Tuesday) that we are planning to close the site effective Aug. 29,” said Thomas.

“Basically this is the result of adapting to changing business needs. So we’ve decided to consolidate our operation.”

Thomas said the employees at the centre have all received notice of layoff, however, she said the company doesn’t provide any numbers publicly.

“That’s not to say they can’t apply for other opportunities,” she said. “They would have to apply for any positions they may be interested in.”

The call centre currently handles incoming calls, but Thomas said the company does not reveal the nature of those calls.

The call centre first opened in the Valley Mall in 2001 under the management of ICT Group Inc. and provided sales and service support for clients in the financial and insurance industries. Six weeks after it opened the centre employed about 100 people and management at the time indicated that when in full operation it was expected to employ as many as 300 customer sales and service representatives, quality assurance, training and operations management personnel.

In 2005, ICT expanded the operation by opening an inbound section for customer service and technical support.

In 2009, Sykes and ICT entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Sykes agreed to acquire ICT. Included in the $263-million deal was the Corner Brook call centre.

The company also acquired a call centre in St. John’s. That centre closed earlier this year and employees there were offered an option of working from home.

Organizations: Sykes Enterprises Ltd.

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Jackie Barrett - Concerned Corner Brook Area Resident
    June 26, 2014 - 17:38

    With Corner Brook suffering from a string of major job losses due to cuts or closures over the last ten years including LaFarge (over 100 jobs), Corner Brook Pulp and Paper (over 500 jobs), BellAliant (unknown), Scotsburn (roughly 50 jobs), Movie Gallery (roughly 30 jobs), Jumbo Video (roughly 10 jobs), Wells Fargo (5 jobs), "The Bargain! Shop" (50-100 jobs), Western Health (94 Full Time Equivalent jobs), Newfoundland and Labrador Government (over 150 jobs), College of the North Atlantic (over 50 jobs), Oceanex (5 jobs), City of Corner Brook (possible job losses in the future) and now Sykes Enterprises (at least 100 jobs, perhaps more), the City of Corner Brook has suffered a total of at least 1,100 job losses over the last ten years with little or no job replenishment at all. To put it in a Mathematical perspective, that an equivalent to over 5.5% of Corner Brook's population whom lost their jobs over this ten year period. With one major employer after another closing their doors or dramatically cutting positions in Corner Brook and little or no prospects of new jobs or new major employers coming to this city in the future, perhaps now is the time for the City of Corner Brook and major business lobbying groups such as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade, and the Chamber of Commerce to form a Task Force to investigate the strings of major job losses spanning 10 years, measures Corner Brook must take to attract more major employers to the city, investigate how red tape and poor business climate are hurting the city and find ways to eliminate it, and additional measures to keep existing employers into the city before Corner Brook suffers more economic bleeding. If the trend continues, Corner Brook will have no major employers outside government left, and the city will continue to lose more people, including their youth.

  • Not Worries
    June 26, 2014 - 12:30

    Mr Pender, made a call on behalf of those workers, looking for help. people you do know it a joke by Pender.

  • Ruth
    June 26, 2014 - 04:41

    This is what happens when companies move their work overseas. Now when you call to get customer service, the person on the other end will probably be able to speak only limited English, but that doesn't matter as long as the companies bottom line is making millions. Now along with being frustrated with the problem you're having, you will have to deal with someone who can't speak English. Wonderful!!

  • Tony Young
    June 26, 2014 - 00:31

    It would be interesting to know if Sykes Enterprises received any provincial tax payer money during its opening in 2001 of this call centre in Corner Brook. I can bet my life on it they did. Another point of interest is to where these jobs will go. Is there a chance these call centre jobs could be outsourced to India?

    • Carolyn
      June 26, 2014 - 07:23

      Jobs outsources to the wages like India

    • ruth
      June 26, 2014 - 07:39

      In this particular case they were outsourced to the Philippines! Trainers sent there to put themselves and other out of jobs.

  • Jackie Barrett - Concerned Corner Brook Area Resident
    June 25, 2014 - 21:41

    With call centres closing or laying off employees in Halifax (Convergys and Xerox), New Glasgow (Convergys, the employer treated them poorly as the employees will get no severance at all), Port Hawkesbury (Minacs), and now Corner Brook (Sykes, Bell), perhaps now is the time for the Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick governments to implement an indefinite moratorium on providing call centres with loan guarantees, payroll rebates, tax breaks, or other forms of financial aid as punishment for not honouring their job creation commitments. More importantly, all Atlantic Canadian governments should start working together to attract high quality, long term, and high paying jobs as opposed to volatile or low quality natural resource manufacturing or call centre jobs. The recommended sectors include Information Technology, Accounting, Finance, Engineering, Logistics, Renewable Energy, and Bio Technology. Moreover, jurisdictions with poor business and uncompetitive business climates, notably Corner Brook, have to start easing off on red tape, and start welcoming major employers willing to come to Corner Brook with open arms as opposed to showing them the door like they did during the "Greeley Era".

  • Leaburn Knott
    June 25, 2014 - 21:31

    Hear we go again more jobs leaving Corner Brook and our Mayor and council don't say a word or try and help... My father lost 2 jobs to St John's and I lost 1 job to St John's.

  • Jack
    June 25, 2014 - 21:10

    Since Corner Brook is now losing another major employer, the Sykes Call Centre, the Corner Brook City Council should start addressing concerns about one major employer after another which will result in more people leaving the city and population will continue to decline. Keep in mind that Corner Brook has lost too many major employers or remain employers have implemented major job losses over the last five to ten years including Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, LaFarge, Bell, The Bargain Shop, Scotsburn, Oceanex, and now Sykes. Due to the city's poor business climate as an after-effect from the Greeley era, Corner Brook has to start becoming more entrepreneur friendly and protect remaining jobs, or this city will continue to go downhill. In the meantime, down with Sykes and all call centres for closing their call centres and hurting our economy.