News : Cuts Coming for Ottawa Call Center
March 20, 2014 -- About 130 jobs will be cut at the Ottawa OfficeMax call center starting in July as a result of a companywide consolidation, according to a company spokeswoman.
Customer service operations at the call center will end. The Ottawa facility will continue to house about 140 employees who support the recently-merged OfficeMax and Office Depot company's finance function, spokeswoman Karen Denning said in an email Thursday.
The customer service work at Ottawa will be spread across other facilities, including the call center in Peru, as part of the consolidation effort. Peru is not closing its customer service operations, Denning said.
"We understand that these decisions impact our associates and the community, and the company is committed to treating our people with respect throughout this process," Denning said. "Associates will receive a minimum of 60 days notice and be eligible for severance and outplacement services."
The Times approached three employees at OfficeMax on Thursday; all declined comment about the situation. Management at the call center then asked The Times to leave as a courtesy to employees because it was an emotional day.
OfficeMax recently merged with Office Depot and relocated its corporate headquarters from Naperville to Boca Raton, Fla.
When that move was made, the company reported there would be no effect on existing OfficeMax retail stores, customer service centers, warehouses or distribution centers, including Ottawa and Peru.
The Chicago Tribune, however, reported in February the company's move would mean the loss of about 1,600 workers in Illinois with no specification of where those layoffs might occur. About 400 workers in Illinois were expected to stay on after the combination, the newspaper reported.
It is unclear if other employment opportunities within the company will be available for those people whose positions were cut.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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OfficeMax is an American office supplies retailer founded in 1988. It is a subsidiary of Office Depot, Inc., which is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. As of December 2012, OfficeMax operated 941 stores in 47 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Mexico. In 2012, net sales were $6.9 billion, down from $8.3 billion in 2008.
Published: Friday, March 21, 2014