Ottawa loses 800 more call centre jobs

Ohio-based customer service and HR firm Convergys has laid off 800 employees from its Heron Road cetre in Ottawa.

According to multiple media sources, the decision was prompted by AT&T, a major Convergys client, deciding to move call centre work to the Phillipines, where Convergys has been expanding operations.

Employees were given notice Monday that they will only have jobs until April 18th. About 100 employees will remain, working on a Bell Canada contract.

The 800 Ottawa employees being laid off follows the company’s decision to cut 500 employees at the Winnipeg location last December and 1,000 employees from Alberta in 2008.

This is also another blow for call centres in Ottawa following the loss of 160 jobs at Ipsos-Reid last June and the 1,200 jobs that were lost when Dell shut down in 2008.

The job losses have been largely blamed on the high value of the Canadian dollar, increasing the cost of employee slaries for companies operating in Canada.