News : Almost 700 People Lose Jobs at Sitel
Augusta, GA, Jan 12, 2015 -- Nearly 700 people will be out of a job in the next 90 days.
Sitel announced Monday they'll be cutting 675 jobs at the Augusta call center.
One employee, who did not want to be identified, just got the news to start looking for a new job.
It's their job to talk on the phone, but no one expected this call. "It hasn't sunk in. Haven't taken it in," described one employee.
In a letter from Sitel to employees working on the Verizon account, workers are told "This constitutes your 60 days' notice" because of a business decision "to end its partnership with Verizon."
"I thought we were going so good," the employee said. "It was hard finding seats there were so many of us. Call volume was good, business was good, and then out of nowhere, this."
It's a complete turnaround from the announcement last May when the company was hiring 200 people. Now, less than a year later, hundreds more will be looking for work.
When News 12 asked the employee how hard it was to have job security in that industry, the worker replied, " Before this, I would say I was secure. I wouldn't bat an eye at it. Now, it's almost every industry. You never know."
Sitel says the decision is pure business, citing the end of a client contract and having nothing to do with the employees themselves.
"That being in the letter, I appreciate that as an employee that they recognize good work. But, it doesn't lessen the pain," the employee told News 12.
Sitel's Chief Marketing and Infrastructure Officer Sean Erickson says it's tough to see their employees suffer.
"Our business is all about our people, so we take these situations very seriously, especially in a community like Augusta where we've operated since 1999," Erickson said.
But, less than two weeks into 2015, more than half their Augusta workforce is on the way out.
We are actively seeking new business opportunities, programs, and other things we can do to offset the impact," Erickson said.
Sitel assures News 12 there are no plans to close completely. In fact, they say it's quite the opposite. Erickson says they're investing about $600,000 in the facility itself off Windsor Spring Road, and they just hired a new site leader from out of state, all qualities they say shows they're here to stay.
The company says they'll be starting March 9th through the 23rd of the month.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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As caring for customers becomes the differentiator that drives consumer spend, Sitel is advancing its position as a world leader in outsourced customer care innovation. With 30 years of industry experience, Sitel’s 56,000 employees support clients with CRM contact center services that provide predictable and measurable Return on their Customer Investment by building customer loyalty, increasing sales and improving efficiency. Sitel’s global solutions include customer acquisition, customer care, technical support and social media programs. Support operations span from home based agents to 110+ domestic, nearshore and offshore centers in 23 countries across North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Sitel manages client programs on behalf of some of the best known brands in the world in 40 languages. Sitel is privately held and majority owned by Canadian diversified company, Onex Corporation.
Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015