SYDNEY, N.S. – Politicians informed of the mass layoff at ServiCom are confident that an investor interested in buying a call center in Sydney will move forward in the coming days.
The company halted operations mid-afternoon on Thursday after the last attempt to rescue the operation, owned by New Jersey-based New Jersey, fell to Wednesday night.
Closing rejected at least 600 employees without work, just over two weeks before Christmas. ServiCom and JNET have previously filed a complaint for bankruptcy on Chapter 11 at a court in Connecticut on October 19th.
The other company's call center in Machesney Park, Illinois, also closed on Thursday. Two others in the state were closed on September 29.
Federal and provincial politicians at Cape Breton met with former Servery Webmaster Todd Riley and bureaucrats from the Canadian and Canadian Canadian Opportunities Agency on Friday at the ACOA office in Sydney.
The US investor, who has been involved in buying the company over the past few weeks, is still interested in taking over the Sydney call center, although the deal broke down earlier this week.
Economy Minister Jeff McCormack said he was "very encouraging" that the call center might have a future, but he warned that the bankruptcy process is not yet fully developed.
"This is obviously related to the US lawsuits on asset distribution and what happens to some of the funds that are in place by this particular entity," he said after the meeting.
"There are many moving parts and logistics to manage the recovery of this center in Sydney, but that certainly looks promising at this time."
He said the province would be "very creative" when it comes to offering company incentives if the call center opens again.
Like McLaughlin, Sydney-Victoria lawyer Mark Eckington spoke to Riley and understood details of the potential buyer at a call center.
Eick said he liked what he heard from Riley.
There is a possibility for the federal government to work with an investor by providing loans if necessary to return the operation again, the MP said.
"We'll sit down with this new operator, of course. And maybe it's a new technology. We would like to return to the same place. I think this is possible from Mr Riley's point of view because everything is there.
Eyking said that the ACOA could also provide means to upgrade employees' qualifications.
According to Riley, the news whether an investor wants to re-open the call center can come on Monday or Tuesday.
ServiCom has used federal state loans and provincial wage concessions in the past.
Call Center received support from the federal government in 2010 to raise capital and expand operations.
ACOA provided a $ 500,000 loan while Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. also wrote a loan for $ 138,360. That was part of the total project cost of $ 1.2 million.
According to the ServiCom documentation filed in October in October, federal agencies still have unsecured claims on two loans of $ 43,292.68 and $ 12,659.02.
Nova Scotia Business Inc Pay Salary Program ServiCom invested in ended when it expires in 2012
The Call Center won $ 366,594 of the rebate to create 102 full-time full-time positions under the terms of the agreement, NSBI spokesman Emily Neal said in an email on November 2.
The company owed the US $ 205,893.91 income tax on Canada's revenue from October 19th.
Employees are among the largest unsecured creditors listed in ServiCom's bankruptcy petition. Some are missing at least three weekly wages plus bonuses, with a small income to recover that money.
NPR's Labor Reviewer Tami Martin introduced a bill to private parliament members this fall, seeking protection for salary theft for employees who suddenly left without a job as a result of bankruptcy closure.
A provincial funded fund will scatter money to help employees cope.
"This is a crisis, and when there is a crisis, the government must enter," she said.
"The government has much more money to fight these court cases than with the individual claim, you know, the minimum wage or, if you are lucky, $ 15 per hour.
"Most of these families have no ability to fight these problems, but the province has."
As a bill for private members, he has little chance of becoming a law.
McCallan said he is not sure whether the legislation of the provincial government requires legislation to guarantee companies to pay their employees what they owe.
"I think that in the private sector, most of them work under corporate social responsibility by caring for their employees. In this case, we certainly hope that the money is there and expect the money to be there for the work that was done so far. "
In the short term, he said the priority is to support redundant workers, including claims for employment insurance benefits and retraining opportunities through Provincial-funded programs.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO NOW?
In case of shortening
• Claims for employment benefits must be made online:
• EI eligibility requirements: www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/eligibility.html
• Nova Scotia Works supports unemployed with career counseling, job search and resume: novascotia.ca/works/#works-cape-breton
• Income help is available through a call free of charge at 1-877-424-1177: www.novascotia.ca/coms/employment/income_assistance/index.html
• Departments of Public Services in Cape Breton: www.novascotia.ca/coms/department/contact/EasternOffices.html
• Sydney call center service throws 600 from work
• ServiCom bankruptcy documents contain a list of five unsecured creditors based in Cape Brittany
• Bankruptcy protection for Sydney Call Center