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Outrage at Cape Breton call centre after employees don’t receive pay
Some tense moments were caught on camera and shared on social media at a Sydney call centre Friday night, after employees went without a pay cheque for the second week in a row.
It was a chaotic scene inside the ServiCom Call Centre as nearly 700 employees were told they would not be receiving their pay for the second week in a row.
“Are you coming to the food bank with us? I’m serious, this is insane,” said one employee in a video capturing the moment the employees were told they wouldn’t be receiving their pay cheques.
Jacqueline Mercer uploaded the video of the confrontation with management to Facebook. It has now been viewed more than 30,000 times.
“People were like, ‘Are you going pay our bills? What are we going to tell our kids? I got a car payment, I my mortgage is coming out, I just bought a house.’ It was devastating,” explains Mercer.
The pay cheques were originally due the previous Friday, the same day that Servicom’s parent company filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States.
While management at ServiCom is blaming the company’s bank for the latest delay and says all of this will be sorted out, some employees are saying this is the last straw, and they’re looking for new jobs.
Site manager Todd Riley says the company was granted a court order Wednesday to finally cut cheques to its employees in both Canada and the U.S.
A memo to staff in Sydney on Thursday said the Bank of America would be releasing funds Friday via direct deposits into workers accounts.
When it became clear that might not happen, Riley says he ordered and signed hundreds of cheques himself Friday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, the bank did not come through and release our funds. And again, that is court ordered. I’m extremely disappointed and devastated over what has happened to the employees across the board. This is just, this is deplorable,” says Riley.
Riley says employees can now expect to be paid on Monday. If they aren’t he says the company is considering taking legal action against the bank.
“Monday, I’m definitely expecting this to happen, but if not there will be some legal ramifications happening,” explains Riley.
“It’s time for Cape Bretoners to get up and speak out, don’t be afraid to speak out,” says Mercer.
Mercer says employees are worried the writing is on the wall, and the company is going under.
Although management maintains the Sydney call centre is turning a profit and will remain open.
As for herself, Mercer says after several weeks of working without being paid, she’s had enough.
“I’m going to look for another job somewhere, somewhere that is going to pay me,” says Mercer.
“I will continue working as hard as I can to ensure that these guys get paid Monday, and this Friday coming,” adds Riley.
The hundreds whose livelihoods depend on this place say, they’ll believe it when they say it.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.