HANOVER TWP. — Seventy-seven people working at a call center in Hanover Township will lose their jobs a couple weeks before Christmas.
Travelocity is shedding the positions at its customer service center in Hanover Industrial Estates, which currently employs 200 to 250 workers, company spokesman Joel Frey said.
“It’s a tough thing for sure. We really love the team here. Things like this are never easy. We’re trying our best to make the landing as soft as possible,” Frey said.
The employees were given 60 days notice Tuesday. They will remain on the payroll until Dec. 13 and will also be eligible for severance beyond that date, Frey said.
Frey added there are some other open positions within the customer service center for which the affected employees can apply.
“We will help them with career counseling and other things through the transition,” Frey said.
The Southlake, Texas, company, owned by Sabre Holdings Corp., had 190 workers at the 30,000-square-foot center on Hanover Street just five months ago, when plans to hire up to 90 new workers by the end of August were announced.
There had been ebbs and flows over the years in Travelocity’s workforce, depending upon the overall state of the economy. At one point, the local center’s workforce was at 300, and then the number of jobs declined along with the economy.
Over the last four years, however, the growth had been steady and the staffing levels consistent, Frey had said in May. And with travel peaking once more and the economy taking a turn for the better, the company was looking to boost local staff.
Additional work picked up through affiliate companies in the Travelocity Partner Network also played a role in the hiring plan.
“But the call volumes we had been ramping up for … they haven’t gone as planned,” Frey said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we had to scale back.”
Travelocity operates one other call center in San Antonio, Texas, which is slightly bigger than the Hanover office. Frey said some jobs will be lost there as well.
Travelocity has been a tenant in Hanover Industrial Industrial Estates since 2005, when it relocated from Plains Township.
The company has struggled over the past few years to keep pace with travel sites such as Expedia and Priceline. In August, it was announced that Travelocity and Expedia would partner, with Travelocity turning over some functions, such as customer service, to Expedia, and Expedia paying Travelocity performance fees. The transition was to take place in 2014.