Convergys Call Center To Use Layoff Alternative

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At first, it was announced that 200 jobs were on the line, but now as many as 120 people will be affected at the end of July when a contract between Convergys and an unnamed client expires.

Employees at the Watertown call center, formally known as Stream, tell us that client is Sprint.

Now, company officials are turning to a state program called Shared Work.

"It allows a company to retain their workforce even though the workforce will be on a part-time basis and they'll be able to collect unemployment," said Cheryl Mayforth, executive director of The WorkPlace.

Simply put, under Shared Work, an employee can work two and a half days per week and collect unemployment for another two and a half days.

Last week, the state approved Convergys for the program and 65 employees will take part in it.

Should Convergys not pick up another client before July 31, another 55 workers will take part.

They can only take part for six months.

"So that within the time frame allowed in Shared Work that they would be able to, in this case, take on new contracts so that the employees can return to full time," said Mayforth.

And that's something Convergys continues to work on.

According to documents obtained by 7 news, the company was in negotiations with three potential clients last month, but those fell through.

According to those same documents, it's continuing to search.

We placed calls to a Convergys spokesperson, but they were not returned as of late Monday afternoon.

Monday, July 28, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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