LEWISTON, Maine — Nearly 200 people working at the call center formerly known as Affiliated Computer Services got bad news Friday.
Now owned and operated by Xerox, company officials told workers they would layoff 181 people by the middle of summer.
If there was any good news, it was that the layoffs won’t begin until July. A Xerox spokesman said 121 people would be let go July 18, and another 60 workers would lose their jobs July 31.
Company officials began breaking the news to employees Friday morning, alerting them that by the end of July, they will have to find new jobs.
“We believe that if we give them enough time,” said spokesman Alexander Charles, “it will help them to make adjustments.”
The workers being laid off have been handling calls directed to Allstate and Capitol One. Alexander said the company found that it is no longer economically feasible to keep those positions open.
The news was particularly sour for some: Less than a year ago ACS announced its Lewiston call center was getting bigger and would hire more local people.
At the end of August 2011, ACS announced it was expanding its operations in the city and that 200 new jobs would result. The company went ahead with those plans, hiring supervisors and call center agents to provide technical support and customer services.
But changes to the company’s infrastructure soon followed. Xerox spokesman Kevin Lightfoot said that starting in January, the company began to phase out the ACS name at the Lewiston facility.
An employee at the company said Xerox brought in a human resources worker Friday to help announce the layoffs. Each employee was pulled aside and given notice, the employee said. After receiving the grim news, they went back to work.
Xerox acquired ACS in 2009 in a cash and stock transaction worth $6.4 billion.
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