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News : Enmax Outsourcing Jobs to India
Oct 29, 2014 -- Enmax is outsourcing dozens of jobs related to its billing and customer-care operations, but a spokesperson said customers who contact the utility company will continue to speak to local customer service representatives in Calgary.
Enmax said 38 positions are affected by the move, which will outsource the jobs to a company based in India.
Peter Marsden, the president of CUPE Local 38, said about 17 union positions are involved. Marsden said employees learned the news last Friday, and added he’s not sure why the move is necessary considering Enmax’s customer service operations have been honoured in the past for being among the best in North America.
"These people are part of an award-winning call centre," Marsden said. "And now, good work gets you what? Your job sent offshore? There’s not a lot of loyalty there."
Enmax spokesperson Doris Kaufmann Woodcock said the positions being outsourced are back-end technology-support jobs that work with Enmax’s business operations software. She said the utility is making the changes in an effort to improve efficiency and also to provide better data security.
"I want to be clear that these are not front-facing positions," she said in an email. "Whenever a customer calls our customer care centre, they will still be speaking to a local person, right here in Calgary. This will not change with this transition."
The majority of the affected employees are being "redeployed" to different positions at Enmax, Kaufmann Woodcock said, though she acknowledged a "handful" have chosen to take severance or retirement options.
Neither of the two city council members who sit on Enmax’s board of directors — councillors Brian Pincott and Peter Demong — could be reached for comment Tuesday. But one Enmax employee, who asked not to be identified, said the optics of a taxpayer-owned company sending local jobs to a different continent are terrible.
"That’s the part that upsets me the most. That a City of Calgary-owned utility would take jobs away from Calgarians and send them to India," the employee said.
Enmax has seen controversy related to outsourcing before. In 2003, the utility signed a 10-year deal that saw customer-service functions outsourced to Accenture, an international technology and business consultancy company. Then in 2006, Accenture transferred 38 local billing and administrative jobs to the Philippines, a move that angered employees.
Enmax later cancelled its contract with Accenture and brought all of its customer-service functions back in-house.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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ENMAX Corporation is a vertically integrated utility that generates and distributes electricity, natural gas, renewable energy and value-added services to customers in Alberta, Canada.
Published: Thursday, October 30, 2014