Jobs may come down line

Telecom's Hamilton call centre could absorb some of 42 Auckland positions which the telco is proposing to cut in a couple of months.

Staff at Telecom's 123 call centre based at the company's Victoria St, Auckland, headquarters were told of the proposal on Wednesday and the Waikato Times understands from one staffer, who asked not to be named, that some of the jobs could end up in Hamilton.

It is not a stretch as Hamilton's call centre, in the CBD, is one of Telecom's largest that handles the company's 123 calls.

Telecom's 140-strong Hamilton call centre manages about 40 per cent of the company's calls. Another 40 per cent are routed to the Philippines with other Kiwi call centres picking up the slack.

But Telecom spokesman Mike Burgess said it was too early to say whether all the jobs will be redeployed to other parts of the business and where they might be relocated too.

But Telecom would do its best to offer everyone a new position in other parts of the business.

"If the closure is confirmed over the next two months, we will be looking at redevelopment which is the first option," Mr Burgess said. "We redeploy whenever we can."

Mr Burgess said the 42 positions were being dis-established in Auckland because of a rise in more technically savvy Telecom customers finding the answer to their technical queries on the company's website under Frequently Asked Questions.

Calls had also dropped off to that part of the business as more people switched from the old CDMA mobile network, which switches off on July 31, over to Telecom's 3G XT service.

Mr Burgess said the restructure of the Auckland call centre was still at the proposal stage and was not yet confirmed.

"Our priority is to redeploy our people within the company and provide them with support seeking employment elsewhere," Mr Burgess said.

Telecom said last month that 13 Hamilton call-centre staff had left the workplace to work from home as part of Telecom's Agents at Home scheme. Some of the 42 Auckland staff are likely to join the Agents at Home programme.

Waikato Times