With the introduction of a new customer service call centre in either Barbados or Jamaica, the takeover of Columbus Communications by Cable and Wireless should result in a net gain in employment rather than a net loss, according to Phil Bentley, CEO of the newly-merged company.
“I have committed to bring back a 200-seat call centre to either Barbados or Jamaica,” CWC Chief Executive Phil Bentley said recently during a press briefing for Caribbean journalists, via teleconference from London.
Within four months the company will be closing down its Panama-based customer service centre and opening a new one in one of the two islands, he said. The centre was not popular with many LIME customers, who wanted the familiarity of an accent based in the English-speaking Caribbean. The company also has an existing call centre in Trinidad.
The decision about whether the new location will be Barbados or Jamaica will be made over the next two months, with the new centre to be up and running in about four months, Bentley said.
Largely as a result of that new centre, CWC should end up employing more people than it will lose, even with the acquisition.
“We will be a net increase employer across the Caribbean,” Bentley said, repeating for emphasis, “I am absolutely convinced that we will have a net employment increase across the markets.”
Despite that increase, there will still be some job losses, especially where there is duplication. “There may be some issues,” Bentley said. An example is two stores next to each other in Castries, St Lucia. “We will only need one,” Bentley said.
About the Author: Richard Browne is the Business Editor at the Jamaica Observer Newspaper in Kingston, Jamaica.