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News : Former Accrington Call Centre Staff Sue Holiday Firm
Nov 26, 2013 -- Former workers at an East Lancashire call centre which closed with the loss of 250 jobs are taking its owners to an industrial tribunal, due to start.
A class action has been launched for compensation by 120 of the former staff against international outsourcing provider Sitel.
It employed the workforce to handle online holiday bookings at the Globe Centre in Accrington.
In September 2011 after one of its clients, travel firm Expedia, moved its call-handling to Bangalore in India, it announced its entire workforce would be made redundant by November that year.
Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson described the closure as ‘devastating’ for the borough. Carl Moran, partner at JMW Solicitors, is handling the action which was expected to start in Manchester.
He said: "120 former staff are taking a class action against Sitel for unfair dismissal and failure to properly consult over redundancies. "They are alleging the process was substantially and fundamentally flawed."
If they succeed at the hearing, expected to last all week, compensation against the firm could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Sitel took over the former Thomas Cook offices in 2009 at the Globe Centre for travel advisers to help customers book holidays.
The centre is run by Globe Enterprises, a joint venture between chairman Stuart Nevison, Hyndburn Council and Barnfield Construction.
Mr Nevison said: "The decision by Sitel to take advantage of a break clause in their contract was a surprise to us and the workforce. "It was a big blow but the Globe Centre is still thriving and home to hundreds of jobs."
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: Wednesday, November 27, 2013