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‘OUTSOURCING’ AT FIJI’S AIR PACIFIC COSTS 16 JOBS Reservations workers replaced by 24-hour call center

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 6, 2009) – GORDON McGoon and his 16 workmates have put on a brave face, hiding their worries and anxities but yet pondering their future because they will be laid off by Air Pacific at the end of the month.

With 26 days to go, the staff of the airline's reservation department will be leaving the place where they've earned their bread and butter over the years.

This is the result of the airline's plan to outsource the department to Mindpearl, which won the outsourcing contract.

Managing director John Campbell said the airline would outsource telephone reservation services to Mindpearl effective from November 1 because Air Pacific would save a lot.

Mr McGoon said while he was happy to take his package, he felt sorry for the younger lot.

"I feel for those who will be looking for jobs when we are finished from here," he said.

The 56-year-old has been with the department since he left school in 1973.

Mr McGoon and his colleagues were part of a function at the Tanoa International Hotel on Saturday night where their contribution to the company was celebrated and sacrifices honoured. It was also time to reminisce the good old days spent at the "heart and restaurant" of the company. Former reservations manager George Faktaufon said while the move was part of the company's cost-cutting measures, he felt sorry for the workers who would be without jobs.

"It's very sad to see all those workers go," he said.

Mindpearl is an independently-owned global contact centre, with its Fiji office based at the Kalabu Tax Free Zone in Nasinu.

The centre will provide Air Pacific and Pacific Sun customers with 24-hour, seven-day access to services including new reservations, ticket purchases, travel queries and booking alterations.

Mindpearl chief executive William Pattison said despite the risks involved with the global recession, the company was happy to operate in Fiji.

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