Shuttered Cape Breton call centre to reopen this week, new owner says

The Cape Breton call centre that abruptly laid off hundreds of workers just weeks before Christmas will officially reopen this Wednesday, offering bolstered pay and benefits.

Iowa businessman Anthony Marlowe purchased the former ServiCom call centre in an auction that was part of ServiCom's bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.

In a news release Monday, Marlowe Companies Inc. said more than 450 people have already applied for positions at the Sydney Call Centre Inc., and "substantially all applicants'' will receive an offer letter starting Jan. 1.

If hired over the next month, workers with call centre experience from the last 90 days will receive a $300 starting bonus, the base pay and vacation levels from their previous employers honoured, and immediate access to benefits.

The starting wage for newly hired workers will increase to $12 per hour from $11 per hour.

All work programs will restart by Jan. 14 and the company is still accepting applications.