Developing: Sutherland Group Closing Its Doors in the Sault?

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ONNtv / SaultOnline.com has been informed by numerous sources that one of the city’s largest call centres is closing.

Sutherland Group located on Old Garden River road employs hundreds of people for in bound calls surrounding tv and cable services.

We’ve been told by some employees that they have already received layoff notices for early May.

A call to Sutherland Group by our newsroom was not returned.

We will try and confirm this news as soon as we can.

The call centre industry became a cornerstone of an economic turnaround for the Sault in the 1990’s. Currently the two call centres left in the Sault, employ around 1500 people between Sutherland Group and Agero. Sutherland is believed to be the largest call centre in the city.

63 COMMENTS

  1. I am not surprised at all due to both governments, one has no clue what he is doing and the other is He is out to screw everyone over but himself.. Hell we are all going to be homeless,,

  2. i worked at Sutherland after I graduated College, was with Microsoft, it was a great campaigm, until Microsoft decided to move everything to Vancouver, heard their stats tanked after that. Aperently we offered the best service, I left sutherland after that

  3. that place im sorry to say is terrible i worked there 5+ years ago it was worse then high school. the upper management/hr were not the best. I caught one of the managers of a tech sales program that weren’t doing that well and had lower numbers he would then place these employees in a billing queue of people already signed up on the membership then would fire the people for not making sales. They had no chance to improve their numbers because for days the were in a queue with people already signed up with the membership and were calling to cancel or complain about the service and had zero opportunity to improve their numbers and were fired for poor numbers.

  4. There are only 60 employees left in the whole building. 15+ employees have been laid off or fired in the last week. I know someone who still works at Sutherland (for the time being) so this 100% legitimate information.

  5. You can’t cast all blame on Ford. Wynne created some conditions which are toxic and difficult to operating a business in Ontario. Trudeau increased CPP premiums which are effectively doubled on part of the employer.
    There’s plenty of blame to go around.
    Having worked in one of the big contact centres here I can tell you that employee absenteeism specifically in Sault Ste. Marie is high – people here are sick and often absent. On days of nice weather that rate doubles.
    While at Cross Country, our SSM site was constantly looked down on because compared to the other 4 sites our OT rates were the lowest, call avoidance was the highest, break overages were the highest. All of these factors have an impact. If a city workforce doesn’t appear to be hungry for work then that employer will move elsewhere.

    • I agree. There is a lot of blame to go around. Ford made it harder for workers in the north, who are believe it or not, sicker on average. Call centers are also an extrememly horrible example to see how much the people in the Sault want jobs. The air is contantly cycled so people are always sick, people have to deal with abuse at a ridiculous level since people are meaner when they can’t sew who they are yelling at. Call centers have a high turn over due to burn out, not laziness. When all you are is a slave to a beeping phone, and never get anything but shit on, your reasons to go to work start to get smaller. If it is too hard to ensure your employees are healthy and making a living wage, then close your damn business and move it to a place where you can exploit the workera for $2 bucks an hour. Don’t blame the province or the country, blame the greed that says 25million in profits over 3 months is so little that you can’t pay your workers enough money to only have to work one job.

    • None of this is political. It is called call center burn out. Cross Country aka Agero drove people away including people that started from day one. Overworked. Unrealistic goals. Over achievers awarded while the average worker constantly told their work was inferior. When workers had to fix issues that the other Agero sites created, that put more stress and work on people. Reputation of a place travels fast. None of the call centers besides OLG can get people in the doors anymore. And OLG is contract. Just as much stress as any other place-I should know. The city needs REAL jobs like the ones the city turned away from Toyota.

  6. No surprise Folks. Drug Fraud takes full responsibility for every job lost in ontario including 5000 auto worker jobs. Drug FRaud making ontario unemployed.

  7. When they run for office , they are concerning themselves to help the people. Once in office they be come these power hungry people that have to stir up the pot to show they have power, right or wrong. Mainly wrong. What is a person to do, there is not one politician worthy of my vote. Who next to destroy my Canada. God help us.

    • I noticed that 2 Saturday nights ago when I drove by at 11 pm and there were only 2 card in the parking lot

    • Duncan, When you make up childish names for politicians you dislike you negate your comment’s veracity. You need to grow up and act like an adult if you want other adults to take you seriously.

      By the way, calling people derogatory names is bullying – which interesting enough – is exactly what many people who don’t like what Doug Ford is doing as premier says he is.

      • Ford is incompetent and needs to be grought up on charges of human endangerment.

        See, Jim is right.

  8. Sutherland has brought a lot of money into our city over its 16-years of operation notably $25 million a year in local payroll when it started.
    $7 million of our tax dollars went into building, a project undertaken by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation that owns the building and leased it to U.S.-based Sutherland Global Services. Sutherland invested almost $6 million in working capital here since opening its first centre in late 2003.
    Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation provided a $3 million to the project.
    Let’s put all the numbers to the Community Economic Development program at Algoma U and get an analysis on return on investment to date. Also, what might no payroll from Sutherland and an empty building – no lease income to the city – mean to the economy?

    • It’s gonna hurt a lot. This city is dying. Barely enough jobs as it is unless you have the money to get trained.

    • Can you cite confirmed examples of your claim? If not, you shouldn’t be making such a claim.

      If anyone works at a place that is abusive you should quit working there and you should also report the ‘abuse’ to the ministry of labour.

      • For real??. I have seen it first hand. Denying bathroom breaks or screwing workers out of bonus commission for taking them. Getting hammered in queue and expecting you to reach unrealistic targets and then firing you if you dont meet them all while giving you zero coaching along the way. Not being flexible for time off and “letting you go” if you become a problem regardless of your situation. Then going on a hiring blitz and saying what a great place they are to work for.

        Go to the labor board. Lol. What fantasy do you live in. We dont even have an office here. We used to it and it closed partly due to the mistreatment of workers in these call centres. They had a stack of complaints against almost every centre in this city. If you called them you never got anywhere.

        I feel bad for the workers and the jobs lost in the economy but lets not pretend this was some great company to work for.

    • I had a day shift and provided necessary doctor documents as did almost the entire day crew at that time with children. I miss some of the people I sat around and knew that part I liked. I remember all the day shift one year layed off entire group of people in a board room, wow. Some went back and some didn’t. I had reported my particular issue to ministry of labour years ago and tried to fight for severance which after years working there never did get. Upper Management would change constantly with each campaign. I had never knew workplace bad ethics until i worked there and found a better job with actual respect and empathy business code of conduct followed. Sorry for all those losing jobs but glad if it closes.

  9. Yep this city is growing ..isnt that what the city paid report said.. we expect to grow… the city is been in the dumps for decades.. were is the comitties finding industry to come here and what do we have to offer .. we sell city land to private solar energy businesses when we could have captilize in the green energy push by the provincial government..we could offer manufacturing cheaper electricity . We can build greenhouses to captilize on the cannabis shortage and the billions dollar industry.. we create the jobs ..

  10. Very sad cause I loved my job and all my coworkers it was a great work environment but the way they are doing this is totally wrong we had way less notice than the other campaigns in the building

  11. Just one of many to come if the city, government and other local bandits don’t back off on the ridiculous tax, electricity and heating bills. They are driving everyone to the poor house.

  12. Anytime a business closes up shop is a very hurtful thing….especially to employees. Let’s hope another company will come in and take up the slack.

  13. I believe the person who made this artical is not informed what so ever. Id love to see where you got the number of 1500. Please do research before you write an artical.

    • You never want to see Jobs disappear. If this is true.. my hope is that Sutherland treats them fairly and with respect. We will bounce back from this. To the negative comments above. Have some respect for people that have lost their primary income.

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