Xerox to lay off 48 employees in Halifax, in latest bad economic news for city

HALIFAX – For the third time this month, a major employer in Halifax is announcing layoffs.

Xerox Canada said Tuesday it will lay off 48 people from its call centre in the suburb of Dartmouth.

Spokesman John Quinn says the layoffs are part of the company’s business plan for 2014, and that 135 employees will remain employed at the site.

He says some of the laid-off workers will receive immediate notice, while others are receiving one and two-month notices.

Earlier this month, call centre operator Convergys announced it would lay off 130 people by the end of the year from its Dartmouth operation.

In addition, Ontario-based BlackBerry (TSX:BB) said it would close down its office in Halifax and lay off 350 people.

Cindy Roberts, a spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Business Inc., says Xerox had three payroll rebates from the agency between 2002 and 2012.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the provincial agency mandated to encourage business development.

Roberts said the current payroll rebate — effective from 2012 until 2017 — hasn’t been used by the company to date. However, Xerox is still eligible for the payroll subsidies if it meets growth targets in the future.

The spokeswoman says between 2002 and 2006 Xerox received $398,345 in payroll rebates for employees it hired at the firm’s customer service centre.

Roberts also says that between 2002 and 2007 the company received $353,390 in payroll rebates for employees hired at its telephone and internet contact centre in the city.

The rebates are provided after the company creates the jobs, and the province has said the investments are often regained through income tax revenues the government receives from the new employees.

The Convergys call centre received $28.6 million in payroll rebates between 1998 and 2003.

The province also offered $14 million in payroll rebates and $5 million for training and recruitment to BlackBerry.