Some 350 employees at Sitel’s John Lewis call center in south-west England have been infirmed they could be out of work before Christmas. Despite being told the news at an emergency meeting early last week, many staff member are said to be unhappy about the lack of consultation and the failure to provide any ongoing support.
The redundancies are set to be triggered by the decision by John Lewis – one of the UK’s leading retailers – to transfer its customer service operations to the Philippines and bring its management in-house. It is believed that any such move would result in only 130 of the current call center staff being retained. The move by John Lewis is seen as a bid to cut overall costs by up to GBP1m after it recorded its first ever losses this year. In addition to call center workers, a third of its current senior management team is expected to be leaving the business.