BPO company sends home 100 workers
More than 100 employees of the business process outsourcing (BPO) organisation, Vista Print (Jamaica Limited), were placed on the unemployment line on Tuesday, 24 hours after a staff meeting with their bosses who flew into the island from overseas.
Several departments at the Barnett Tech Park-based organisation, which has been operating in Jamaica for the last 20 years and has had up to 1,200 employees at one time on its payroll, have been affected by the redundancy exercise.
A former employee told The Gleaner that members of the human resources department, design modification team, the employee engagement, call centre agents and customer advocacy group have been sent home.
The former worker at Vista Print noted that the dismissals came as a shock. “The meeting was Monday evening and by Tuesday morning people were receiving notification not to return to work.”
According to the source, Vista Print is notorious for taking drastic decisions without advising staff.
A Vista spokesperson, however, said the decision to reduce the workforce was difficult, and some 1,000 team members remain at the Montego Bay plant under the management of the parent company Cimpress.
“While decisions like this are never easy, they are necessary to ensure Vista remains on its path to becoming the expert design and marketing partner to small businesses and to deliver on its financial commitments in light of a changing macroeconomic backdrop,” the spokesperson told The Gleaner.
The spokesperson added: “These colleagues have worked hard to make a difference for our customers and we will continue to support them through this transition period.”
The company pointed out that the Montego Bay-based team was critical to Vista’s future success.
Jamaica was also not the only country to experience a staff cut as Vista reportedly made 500 employees redundant worldwide this week.
One of the first companies to construct a technology building in the Barnett Tech Park at a cost of US$25 million approximately 10 years ago, The Gleaner understands that the organisation expects to sell the facility and move to a smaller office space as well.
The Gleaner understands that some of Vista’s business has already been moved to Manoa in the Philippines where wages are reportedly lower than in Jamaica.
A seasoned BPO executive said the industry was a revolving door and there was nothing unusual about a company taking its business where it can find cheaper resources and still operate efficiently.
“Jamaica is always attractive at the start, but after a while if the call centres are facing issues they are going to look to diversify their market,” said the executive.
One of the world’s leading online design and print solution providers to small businesses, Vista has steadily carved out a name for itself in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
The company began operations in Jamaica in 2003 as a customer service centre in a 35,000-square-foot office space in the Montego Bay Free Zone, with just over 20 employees.