More than 200 Charlottetown call centre workers handed layoff notices

More than 200 call centre workers in Charlottetown have been told they could be out of a job by the end of this year. TTEC Canada says both of its clients that were served by workers at its Charlottetown centre have decided to end their contracts on Dec. 31. 

TTEC Canada trying to find new contracts for centre, so it can stay open beyond Dec. 31

222 people work at TTEC Canada's Charlottetown call centre. They've all been handed layoff notices, with their last day scheduled for Dec. 31. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

More than 200 call centre workers in Charlottetown have been told they could be out of a job by the end of this year.

TTEC Canada says its two clients that were served by workers at its Charlottetown centre — both owned by the same parent company — have decided to end their contracts on Dec. 31.

As a result, the centre's 222 employees have been handed layoff notices. 

"Understandably, there's a feeling of concern," said Elizabeth Tropea, executive director of operations for TTEC Canada.

"They remain as positive as they can given the circumstances."

Company trying to keep centre open 

Tropea said her company is actively working to find new business for the Charlottetown call centre, along with call centres in New Brunswick and Quebec that could also be impacted by the cancelled contracts.  

She said she's "cautiously optimistic" the company's Charlottetown call centre will be able to remain open. 

Elizabeth Tropea, executive director of operations for TTEC Canada, says she's 'cautiously optimistic' the company will be able to line up new contracts and keep the Charlottetown call centre open. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The company has offered a $1,000 bonus to its employees as an incentive to continue working while it tries to line up new contracts and prevent the centre from having to close its doors. 

"In the event we're not able to redeploy everybody …we're going to work with [the P.E.I. government] in the month of November to start setting up job fairs, and really offering our employees whatever we can in the way of transition services." 

'A tough time'

A spokesperson for the provincial government confirmed Thursday that Skills PEI plans to support TTEC workers looking for help finding a new job or applying for employment insurance. 

Government plans to set up support sessions "as soon as possible."

Gord McNeilly, Charlottetown-West Royalty MLA, says he's confident TTEC employees will find other jobs, if need be. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Charlottetown-West Royalty MLA Gord McNeilly reached out to workers on social media, offering to provide whatever guidance he can as well. 

"It's a tough time. It's hard on the individuals, it's hard on their families, it's hard on the P.E.I. economy," McNeilly said.

"P.E.I. has a need for these workers, and hopefully we'll get them matched up, and allow people to stay in Charlottetown and P.E.I., and that's the main thing."

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