Vodafone to close Victorian call centre

Vodafone will close its call centre in Mulgrave, Victoria when the centre's lease expires in November 2003.

Grahame Maher, Vodafone Australia managing director, said that no changes are expected until August next year and the telco will investigate redeployment opportunities for all 155 staff at the Mulgrave centre.

Maher said that the changes are being made in consultation with the staff and the unions.

"We've clearly signalled in our discussions with our people that Vodafone did not intend to extend the centre's lease beyond November 2003," Maher said.

A statement issued by the telco said the decision to close the centre was influenced by "Vodafone's desire to better utilise its other facilities, such as the purpose-built call centre in Hobart".

The "changing needs of Vodafone's customers, who are increasingly seeking self-service options for information via their mobile and the Internet" was also listed as a factor influencing the decision to close the call centre.

Of the 155 staff affected, those who decide not to pursue redeployment will be offered redundancy. Staff whose positions are made redundant will receive entitlements above award provisions, including financial benefits, outplacement services and counselling.

The Vodafone statement said throughout October and November, staff will have input to a transition plan, which should be developed by December this year.

"Closing the Mulgrave call centre is part of Vodafone's ongoing plans to rebuild and grow its business in Australia. Specifically, this was the 50/50/50 plan announced in October 2001. This plan aims to reduce capex by 50 per cent, opex by 50 per cent and set as a goal, growing revenue by 50 per cent," Maher said.

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