Renowned Canadian entrepreneur Leonard Lee, founder and owner
of Lee Valley Tools, in an interview with the Globe and Mail's Gordon Pitts:
What bothers you about the way business is conducted now?
"What I find most amazing is watching Canadian and American businesses
farm out their customer service. You might as well put a gun to your
head and pull the trigger."
"Because the [call centre workers] don't know your business and
they don't know the culture. When you've farmed out customer
service, you've lost the connection with the customer, and
you will eventually die a horrible economic death."
But you're only a $100-million company and these are billion-dollar
enterprises that feel they have to outsource.
"Yeah, and they have a lot farther to fall. It will happen. This
is where the competition comes in — they will just provide
the service. ..."
Gazette employees are fighting to preserve a vibrant English-language
daily newspaper produced in Montreal to serve Montrealers.
The Gazette’s owner, Winnipeg-based CanWest Global
Corporation, is moving more and more of The Gazette’s editorial
and customer-service operations out of the province in violation
of the employees’ collective
agreements. Now, in contract negotiations, CanWest is demanding the
removal of impediments to outsource any remaining work outside of
Quebec in order to facilitate layoffs in Montreal.
These moves threaten to diminish Canada’s diversity of voices,
whittle down local input and stifle The Gazette’s vital role
of covering local news and reflecting Montrealers’ values,
concerns and culture. The Gazette has been a proud Montreal institution
since 1778 and its readers deserve better than CanWest’s plans
to further downsize, centralize and outsource to maximize profits.
The newspaper is operated by CanWest, however
it is the public that will ultimately decide whether it will tolerate
a “local” newspaper
produced elsewhere. Gazette staff are appealing to the Montreal community
to tell CanWest to keep the “Montreal” in the Montreal