Posted Saturday, 8 December 2018 13:14 EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 8, 2018 13:54 EST
SYDNEY, N.S. – A Cape Breton Society has emerged since the sudden closure of a call center in Sydney, NJ, which left nearly 700 people unemployed just three weeks before Christmas.
After completing the closure of ServiCom on Thursday, another local business decided to drop out of her Christmas party, instead deciding to donate the bailout money to help employees left behind and out of work.
Maritime Communication, a telecom company based in nearby reserve mines, has donated $ 10,000 to the Sydney Salvation Army Association, which is working to support those affected by its food bank and Christmas programs.
"This is a relatively small community that we have here, and I think that when you have an employer as large as ServiCom that makes the announcement that it did that day, it has a huge impact on the community," says Morar Chief Executive Officer Laurent Tweedy in an interview.
"Collectively, everyone was very concerned about the way they went down and about the difficulty of advertising because it's not just a statistic in a community like this one, it's very close to home."
Tweedie said approximately 100 people working at Seaside Communications are willing to sacrifice their party to help those affected by the closure of the ServiCom – some of whom know personally.
The exclusion of the banknote was followed by the bankruptcy protections by ServiCom's parent in the United States, weeks of late payments and promises of bonuses and incentives for other workers.
Jessica Scrule, owner of The Cave Bar and Lounge in Sydney, said her business is also boosting her funds for raising ServiCom's staff.
"Living here in Sydney, we know how many people rely on ServiCom for their income, the income of the whole family, in some cases," she said.
Strup said that the bar, which usually does not charge an entry fee, pays the patrons a fee to cover the sum of $ 5 this weekend, with all the proceeds being donated to help redundant staff.
"As a community business – a community that supports us – we think it is our duty to go in and do something," she said. "Although this is only a $ 5 donation, I believe it is very important for people to come together and think we can really change the lives of these families."
She has said she has received dozens of messages from people who do not have the money for Christmas presents and are worried that their children will not have lunch in the coming weeks.
Killa Williams, who has been working in the office for five years, said on Friday he was blinded by the news, noting that company employees had recently promised bonuses and paid incentives.
In a subsequent Saturday interview, she said she appreciated the community's efforts to get behind her and other ServiCom employees.
"It definitely shows that there are still many people who would do anything to help even if they have their own families," she said.
Nova Scotia's Economy Minister Jeff McCormack said it was "a devastating time for the brat nose," but he said he was confident the center had a "bright future" after talking to a potential buyer on Friday morning.
The minister said he could not offer further details by referring to court proceedings in the United States. He said the deal was pending when insolvency problems caused difficulties.
Williams said he hoped that this could mean a new job for her and her former colleagues in the new year.
"I feel that this buyer will come," she said, adding that the former site manager at Sydney's office kept her and other employees updated on their plans to move forward.
In e-mail, the spokeswoman for the Department of Labor and Higher Education in Nova Scotia Shannon Kerr said the department has begun an investigation into the situation and makes it a priority.
She said the Nova Scotia Works centers are there to help people who have lost their jobs, and the Sydney Center is ready to help former ServiCom employees.