News : Taxi Drivers Concerned About Shutdown of Call Centre
Ottawa, Ont., Canada, July 18, 2016 -- As layoffs begin, a local taxi union says it is unhappy with Coventry Connections' decision to outsource its call-taking.
Last month, Ottawa’s cab company announced it is moving call centre to the Philippines.
"Once they're in the Philippines, we have no idea, we have no clue what is going on," says Elias Karam, the head of the Blueline taxi union. "We have no say over it."
In a memo to employees, Coventry Connections said the layoffs that began on July 17 will be completed by August 13.
Once the new system is up and running, a small team of Ottawa-based dispatchers will remain at the call centre, working with call-takers in the Philippines to book rides.
But Karam says drivers are already witnessing an impact on service.
The taxi union head says on Sunday, one of his drivers lost a customer because a call-taker in the Philippines was unable to locate CHEO.
"We're afraid that being dispatched from the Philippines by somebody who does not know the city ... that's going to cause us problems," says Karam. "We're probably going to lose customers."
Karam says the union wants to keep call centre operations in Ottawa and is considering filing a grievance against the company, as it believes the change violates the drivers' collective agreement.
The head of Coventry Connections, Hanif Patni, said last month that the company is moving call taking operations overseas because it has no other choice.
Patni said the City is to blame as it allowed Uber into the market.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Today's Tip of the Day - Best Call Of The Month
More Editorial From Coventry Connections
About Coventry Connections:
Coventry Connections operates a number of taxi fleets using a single call-center – ZipTrack, and a single account billing and driver payment operation – Taxitab.
Published: Friday, July 22, 2016