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HomeBusinessTelus closes Barrie office, urges Burnaby staff to come back to the office

Telus closes Barrie office, urges Burnaby staff to come back to the office

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Bob Mackin

Telus confirmed July 11 that it is closing its Barrie contact centre. 

But a source told theBreaker.news that one of its Burnaby offices is also affected.

NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix and Telus CEO Darren Entwistle in 2012 (Mackin)

Brandi Merker, Telus’s senior communications manager, said by email that, following a review of the company’s real estate portfolio, it decided to close the office in Barrie, more than 100 kilometres north of Toronto, affecting 150 employees. Merker said they were given three options: relocate with financial support, seek another job within Telus or take a buyout package. 

“While we hope our team is excited to evolve and grow with us, we know this is a change to the way we work today, and in particular, represents a significant personal decision for our Ontario-based team members,” Merker said. 

Employees in Burnaby were informed July 10 about the Ontario decision and told one of the departments located at the Canada Way and Willingdon complex would be shut. The source, who is not authorized to speak publicly, said the 1,000 workers across Canada, including B.C., who are working from home and want to remain in the company, must work in the office at least three days a week or take a buyout package. 

On the work-from-home issue, Merker said the move is about “training, reskilling and new tools that modernize our capabilities.” 

“To support this, we’re asking our frontline agents and their leaders to come into a contact centre office three days per week for ongoing learning and collaboration to meet our customers’ evolving needs, beginning this September,” she said. 

Merker said Telus ultimately wants to decrease call volumes so that when customers call with “more complex situations, their issue is resolved the first time, every time.”

In August 2023, Telus announced it would cut 6,000 jobs, including 4,000 centrally and 2,000 at its international operations. Telus reported more than 108,000 employees last year, of which nearly 35,000 were in Canada. The remainder are spread across the globe, including India, Philippines, South Africa, Morocco, Guatemala and Brazil.

For 2024’s first quarter, Telus reported a 0.6% drop in operating revenues and other income, year-over-year, to $4.9 billion. That, despite what it called a record first quarter with 209,000 more customers, 46,000 better than a year earlier. 

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