UPS has laid off 168 people at its call centre in Moncton, N.B.
The employees were notified on Tuesday and the company said in a statement that the layoffs are part of a “company-wide transformation” that will “improve our responsiveness to customers.”
“These decisions are not made lightly and does not reflect the quality of work being done by employees,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.
“We understand that this is a difficult time for our employees in Moncton.”
UPS said that the laid off employees may be able to find another role in the company if they apply “for open positions that they qualify for.”
John Wishart, the CEO for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton, says when he learned of the news, he was “a bit surprised, disappointed obviously when we have a layoff of that magnitude.”
But he says the ongoing labour shortage will help ease the blow from the layoffs.
“It’s a bit of a cliché, but we do have to kind of roll with this punch,” Wishart says. “And know that for the vast majority of the workers, there will be other opportunities in the community.”
That comment was echoed by the executive director for ContactNB, an association that represents the contact industry in New Brunswick.
“This is an impact for the people at UPS; they’re going to have to change careers,” Jason Purdy says. “However, for the economy in itself, we have enough available positions at the moment that we’re going to fill those 168 within the week.”
UPS said it will assist and support the laid-off employees to find employment. However, they did not comment on whether the workers will receive severance pay.