Coventry Connections lays off 60 call centre employees, blames Uber
'The world has changed,' says CEO after city approves ride-hailing service
Coventry Connections is laying off 60 workers at its Ottawa call centre — and the taxi dispatch company is laying the blame upon the forthcoming legalization of Uber.
A call centre in the Philippines will now be used for the majority of the over-the-phone taxi booking, Coventry president and CEO Hanif Patni told CBC News Thursday evening.
The world has changed ... we've got to adapt.- Hanif Patni, president and CEO of Coventry Connections
"Our local call takers were very important to us. But we cannot continue to operate like this anymore. The world has changed," Patni said.
"The decisions that have been made by the bureaucrats have left us with less revenue and more costs. And we've got to adapt."
Uber legalization blamed
Ottawa city council voted in April to legalize Uber and other ride-hailing services under a new licensing category that will come into effect in the fall.
The layoff notices began going out a month ago, Patni said. In addition to the call centre employees, about a dozen administrative staff have lost their jobs since council's decision in April, said Patni.
A small team of Ottawa-based employees will remain at the call centre to help the Philippine workers book rides, he added.