Shock sets in a day after ServiCom closes Sydney operation
Published Friday, December 7, 2018 9:11PM AST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2018 9:25PM AST
Shock has followed the sudden shutdown of the ServiCom call centre and the loss of 700 jobs.
The stress of losing her job Thursday kept Kayla Williams awake most of the night.
But what hurts the most is knowing she will not be paid for the last five weeks of service at the call centre.
That’s money she was banking on to provide for her two year-old daughter.
“It's the one thing I can't stop crying over,” Williams said. “Knowing I'm not getting this money. Knowing I have a two year-old. She's going to need pull-ups, milk, all of the above. It's nerve-racking.”
It's been almost a week since Wayne Sharpe made a donation to Christmas daddies on behalf of ServiCom employees. Little did he know they would be the ones needing help just days later.
“It's just really, really heartbreaking,” Sharpe said. “Yesterday, on my way home from work, I broke down myself. It was really, really sad. I made a lot of good friends there. I'm very devastated.”
Friday, many of the employees were lining up for help as the Salvation Army opened their doors to ServiCom employees.
The line ups were stretching down the hall and out the door.
“I'm estimating at least 150 to 200 people,” said Maj. Corey Vincent. “Our parking lot is full. Our waiting room is full. I reassured them the Salvation Army would be here for them.”
The community is also stepping up. Beverley Edwards arrived at the food bank today with four 50-pound bags of potatoes and other food items.
“I've been there myself many years ago, kids struggling and stuff,” Edwards said. “The Salvation Army has always been there. I'm in a position where I can help back.”
Government officials met earlier Friday morning with the former site manager at ServiCom. They discussed whether or not a new buyer could be found to reopen the call centre.
“We're hoping that there's the least amount of hurt in the community for the shortest time possible,” said Sydney-Victoria MP Mark Eyking.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil was in Montreal for meetings, but he also vowed to help.
“We’re looking to see what we can do. What role we can play to help families through this difficult time and find a buyer to keep this operation moving,” McNeil said.
For Williams, the reality really hit when she came home to her daughter
“It broke me,” she said. “All I could do is just hug her, squeeze her, and try to figure out the whole Christmas situation. This kind of just ruined my Christmas.”
Trying to cope with terrible news is tough anytime, but particularly difficult with the holidays approaching.
Help for the ServiCom workers is pouring in from so many different organizations, it's hard to keep track of.
Williams says she's already received offers to cover her home heating and toys at Christmas.
And the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles just announced they'll be offering ServiCom employees free tickets to Saturday night's home game.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.