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Hope for Port Hawkesbury call centre

Posted on Apr 12 2010
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 Allan MacMaster, the MLA for the area, said it appears Aditya Birla Minacs has signed a contract with a major Canadian bank that will keep the centre open for at least a few months.

The company said that news is premature, but it hopes to strike a deal with a new client on Tuesday.
The town was bracing for the closure of the call centre after Minacs handed the last of the layoff notices to its employees last week. Ninety-four workers received notices in early March when the company lost a major client.
MacMaster said he has asked the province's minister of economic development to meet with Minacs.
He also said Nova Scotia could sweeten the deal for call-centre companies to make the province for competitive.
"In Ontario they offer rebates of about 35 per cent … in taxes. Nova scotia, we offer seven per cent," said MacMaster.
"Now it stands to reason that business is cheaper to run in Nova Scotia — wages are lower, rent costs would be lower for the company — but there may still be some direction that government needs to go in to ensure that Nova Scotia remains competitive with areas like Ontario."
Minacs set up in Port Hawkesbury in 2007, taking over a call centre that was abandoned by EDS.
The province promised nearly $2.7 million in payroll rebates if the firm met its goal of 350 jobs over five years. The company has received $780,000 so far. It does not have to repay that money.
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