Charlottetown call centre may soon lay off employees

HGS, formerly On-Line Support, has notified employees they may lose their jobs in April if another major client is not found

Teresa Wright
Published on February 28, 2014
HGS Canada, formerly On-Line Support, has a location at 82 Hillstrom Avenue, Charlottetown.
Google maps image

Employees at a major call centre in Charlottetown might soon be out of a job.

HGS Canada, located in the West Royalty industrial park, presented a letter to its employees in Charlottetown late last week with some bad news.

The Guardian has obtained a copy of this letter, dated Feb. 20, 2014.

It says the call centre’s services with its client – believed to be the technology giant Apple – will come to and end on April 14.

“All efforts are being made to replace this business, however if HGS is unsuccessful in securing replacement business you are hereby notified that your employment contract with HGS Canada will end on April 14, 2014,” stated the letter, signed by human resources vice-president Kathy Follett-Lloyd.

When reached for comment by telephone, Follett-Lloyd said she could not provide any details.

“I’m not at liberty to share anything about the situation in Charlottetown right now, unfortunately,” she said.

A source told The Guardian employees were called into an office in small groups where they were given the bad news and presented with the Feb. 20 letter.

Staffers were also told they were expressly forbidden to speak with anyone about the company’s situation.

The letter from Follett-Lloyd even points to a section in the contract employees sign with HGS, in which they agree not to use confidential company information.

Employees were offered the opportunity to transfer to an alternate location. The company’s Facebook page is advertising 50 positions available at its Timmins, Ontario office.

If HGS does not find a replacement client, and if employees in Charlottetown do not wish to transfer, their final pay will be issued on April 25, the letter states.

Over 100 P.E.I. employees are likely to be affected by these potential layoffs.

The HGS call centre was formerly On-Line Support before being acquired by HGS Canada in 2011.