News : Nervous Wait for M2 Call Centre Workers as Company Cuts Staff
May 7, 2014 -- Tasmania's call centre sector is becoming increasingly nervous as more job losses loom and companies continue to outsource work to Asia.
The M2 Group, which operates call centres in Hobart and Melbourne to back up telecommunications, power and gas services, is looking to slash jobs from both cities and outsource to the Philippines.
Hobart will then become the company’s only Australian call centre.
The Australian Services Union said the restructure would cost up to 100 jobs in Hobart. The company said only 30 Tasmanian jobs were on the line.
The Community and Public Sector Union said the word on the ground in Hobart was that between 30 and 50 workers would no longer be needed.
In an email to staff, M2 chief executive Geoff Horth said 147 roles were expected to become redundant across the Melbourne and Hobart centres after all redeployment opportunities were filled.
Mr Horth told staff that Commander Level 1 customer service, provisioning, collections and technical support would move from Hobart to Manila, while Commander Corporate support functions would move from the mainland to Tasmania. He said the move would improve efficiency and customer service.
"A small number of roles within shared-services functions, such as human resources and technology, would no longer be required due to both the reduced number of team members in Australia and changing systems," the email to staff said.
The redundancies would start to come into effect from May 16, two years after the M2 Group closed offices in India and expanded its Hobart centre from 120 to almost 200 workers.
CPSU Tasmanian secretary Jessica Munday said moving offshore was becoming a huge issue in the telecommunications sector.
"If big players like Sensis and Telstra are moving offshore, that puts more pressure on the smaller players to compete," Ms Munday said.
She said it was a very hard time for the workers involved.
A member of the Hobart M2 team said staff had until next Monday to put in expressions of interest to decide who would stay and who would go. The worker said those staying would need to reapply for a different position.
The news from the M2 Group comes as Tasmania fights to retain up to 300 jobs at the Qantas call centre at Moonah.
The issue has been dragging on for months and it is understood new Premier Will Hodgman has met with the company.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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