Plans to cut 100 jobs at Auckland Contact Centre

Staff at an Auckland call centre staff have been told of plans to cut about 100 jobs after Virgin Australia decided to relocate its contact centre overseas, a union says.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says call centre operator Sitel has told staff it intends to cut around 100 jobs at its Onehunga site after Virgin Australia decided to relocate its Auckland contact centre to Brisbane and Manila.  The EPMU says it met with Sitel today to discuss the proposal.

The union is calling on Sitel to provide workers with alternative employment within the business, or compensation to help tide them over while they look for a new job.  EPMU national industry organiser Joe Gallagher says Sitel needs to take responsibility for the workers it is laying off.  “This is just another example of the insecure working conditions more and more New Zealanders are being expected to work under,” Mr Gallagher said.  “You can’t build a career or plan for your future when your job can be contracted out at any time with no compensation.”

Mr Gallagher said the workers at Sitel are mostly young and for many of them it is their first job.  He said the layoffs show the danger of relying on New Zealand’s relatively low wages to attract jobs from Australia.  “The Government has said New Zealand’s low wages are good for the economy because they help attract jobs from Australia. These layoffs show that joining the race to the bottom is not a strategy for secure jobs or higher wages.”  Consultation will take place over the next two weeks, the union said.

The transfer of work to Brisbane and Manila is expected to be complete by mid-October, it said.

August 21st 2013 – One News