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Dell waves goodbye to 1100 Canadians

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Dell is shutting down a call centre in Ottawa, with the loss of 1,100 jobs. The company told CBC news today that it has already issued 500 lay-off notices, and the rest of the jobs are to go in June. It is keeping on 100 sales support employees at the Ottawa site.

Dell said the closure will enhance efficiencies, and pointed to the company's 25 customer contact centres around the world.

But Dell seems to have fallen out of love with Canada. In January, it announced the closure of its Edmonton call centre, with the loss of 900 jobs. That opened less than four years ago. Dell's Ottawa site is barely two years old.

It was all so different last year, when Ottawa looked set to escape the jobs purge ordered by Michael Dell on his return to run the business day-to-day. Last May, the company said Ottawa was safe from job cuts, according to local reports.

And in March last year, Dell and Ottawa were still honeymooning. Ottawa mayor Larry O'Brien proclaimed March 29 "Dell Day" in the city.

"Dell's success here in Ottawa has been nothing short of phenomenal," said the Ottawa site leader Michael Jaillet at the time. "By early 2008, Dell expects to be the third-largest high-tech employer in the city."

Not any more. ®

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