Sears Canada outsources 250 Regina call centre jobs to Philippines where minimum wage in Manila is 382 pesos or $8.63 CAD per day; CEO rolling in cash
Approximately 250 workers lost their jobs on September 17, 2009, when Sears Canada closed its call centre in
On June 25, 2009, the company announced it was closing the call centre, which has operated since 1993, outsourcing the work to the
Penny Smalley, who worked at the centre for 12 years, said the announcement was a “complete shock” and came with no advance warning. [Call centre shuts down (Leader-Post, September 19, 2009)]
At the time, Sears Canada director of corporate communications, Vincent Power, would not reveal the name of the company taking over the work. However, he did tell the Leader-Post it’s a Canadian firm with operations in the
According to the Leader-Post, Power said the call centre industry is facing constant technological advancements and improvements. Sears must invest in the technology or work with a third party provider that already invests in the knowledge, he said.
“We took the decision to outsource the call centre positions at Sears that are to do with basic order taking and give those to a third party provider who’s in that business all the time,” said Power. “That allows us to focus on our core business of merchandising. (The provider) will stay up to date with all the technologies.”
In other words, even though Sears had been in the business for 16 years, it seems the company didn’t want to spend the money to upgrade the equipment. It was easier to farm the work out.
Power told the newspaper another determining factor in the decision to close the call centre is that because Sears is a retailer with seasonal peaks in sales, it’s hard to schedule the hours in a call centre in an efficient manner. A third-party provider, which deals with other customers, can balance out that seasonal issue.
Again, for 16 years Sears seemed to be able to get the job done, but now it’s too difficult?
The company is offering terminated workers job search assistance, such as resume writing, and separation packages will meet provincial government standards. Power also said that providing they have the skills, associates can apply for any other Sears jobs that become available in
What this could mean is that workers will receive the bare minimum by law nothing more, nothing less. Thanks for your service and good luck. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. And with the way Sears has cut jobs over the last few years how many of those will actually find work at the
“This move has nothing to do with the way our employees were working, or their performance. It’s just the call centre industry has changed in
So workers like Smalley are supposed to think of it as taking one for the team. Lose your job to save others.
One possible reason Power or the newspaper didn’t mention is the cost of labour and how much Sears will be saving by moving the jobs offshore where the work can be done for a fraction of the cost.
Baylosis and Culangen, a law firm providing legal services to international corporations, small and medium enterprises and individuals in the
The Philippine Department of Labour and Employment website notes that the minimum wage for workers in the non-agricultural sector in the capital
Meanwhile, at Sears Canada headquarters in
The company’s most recent management information circular states that
In just three years
The employment agreement between Rogers and Sears Canada was revised in 2008 and became effective on October 1, 2008. The agreement has a term of three years (October 1, 2008 to October 1, 2011) with an option to extend the agreement for an additional twelve (12) month period by the mutual agreement of the corporation and Rogers.
Under his employment agreement,
As a result of the current economic conditions,
When you consider how much
If he’s terminated by the corporation without just cause prior to October 1, 2010,
The information circular doesn’t say whether
That’s not bad for a guy whose company’s total revenue has decreased each year since he’s joined: $5.93-billion in 2006, $5.84-billion in 2007, and $5.73-billion in 2008. Interestingly, in two of those years Sears recorded two of its highest net profits this decade: $304-million in 2007 and $289-million in 2008. And that’s what probably matters the most – the bottom line.
Since 2000, Sears Canada’s total revenue has fallen 9.8 per cent. The most startling number, however, is the number of workers that have been jettisoned. In 2000, the company had more than 56,300 full and part-time associates. By 2008 that number had dwindled to just 32,626, a drop of 42 per cent.
And if that weren’t enough the information circular notes that one Sears Canada senior executive appeared to receive nearly $19,000 last year to pay for a leased vehicle.
It would take a lowly associate working full-time for a nearly a year at $10 per hour to gross that much. Then again it would take a worker in
Business weasels see it as a “competitive advantage,” while others might call it something else, like greed and exploitation.