Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Airline call centre to wind down

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AIR Canada says it plans to close its Winnipeg reservations call centre, but winding down the operation will likely occur over a period of years.

Meanwhile, most of the 77 employees at the centre are expected to transfer to the Winnipeg airport or elsewhere, although some may elect to take severance pay, an airline spokeswoman said in an emailed response to questions about the shutdown.

"Air Canada met with officials from the Unifor union and employees at its Winnipeg call centre this week and confirmed the centre will wind down over an unspecified time period, expected to be a number of years due to changing technology," the emailed statement said.

Besides transfer and severance, Air Canada will "work with the union on other mitigation measures as necessary," it added.

The union said it received notification of the shutdown from Michael Tremblay, the airline's director of call centres and customer relations.

Tremblay told the union the closure was a "work in progress" and did not give any details regarding closure dates or to where the work currently performed by Unifor members would be moved, the union said.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2013 B6

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