The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

Calling MaineToday in Honduras

Offshoring
By JEFF INGLIS  |  August 3, 2011

Maine's largest daily-newspaper group has outsourced its circulation customer-service work to Honduras, letting five Maine-based employees go, reassigning another, and allowing one to retire early.

The workers, some of whom were part-time, were paid at rates that for full-time workers were between $445 and $542 per week, depending on their seniority, according to Kathy Munroe, administrative officer for the Portland Newspaper Guild, the union that represents most of the paper's non-management employees.

A call to the circulation number posted on the websites of MaineToday Media, the corporate owner of the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, Morning Sentinel, and Kennebec Journal newspapers reached a customer-service representative who confirmed he was in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He was very cordial, even spelling the city's name for me. Another rep there told me there are 14 people there who cover around-the-clock hours solely waiting for calls from MaineToday clients. When asked about his hours and wages, he referred questions to the MaineToday human-resources department in Portland, which referred questions to owner/editor/publisher Richard Connor. Through his assistant, Connor declined to comment.

San Pedro Sula has several call centers, which appear to be based in its high-tech Altia Business Park, where online marketing materials boast about large numbers of English speakers (including numerous English-language schools) as well as high-reliability phone and Internet connectivity to the United States.

The move follows a consolidation within the MaineToday papers that shifted all circulation handling to South Portland, from locations in Augusta and Waterville. Though there have been other intra-company consolidations and transfers, this is the first outsourcing at the company that Munroe is aware of. "I take it personally when I hear about outsourcing," Munroe says. "We're hurting for jobs right here."

She says the company followed the provisions of the union contract, so there will not be a grievance from her organization related to the outsourcing, but "I'm hoping that there's a clamoring from subscribers."

Related: War on the average Joe, Talk time, Three-city news war, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Media, Newspapers, Honduras,  More more >
| More


[ 04/18 ]   Max Garcia Conover  @ Lion's Pride
ARTICLES BY JEFF INGLIS
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PORTLAND VS. HER PEOPLE  |  March 19, 2014
    This city, which all agree is lucky to have so many options, has leaders who do not behave as if they have any choice at all. To the frustration of the citzenry, the City Council and the Planning Board often run off with the first partner who asks for a dance.
  •   LEARNING FROM FAIRPOINT'S DISASTERS  |  March 06, 2014
    Two bills before the Maine legislature seek to pry lessons from the hard time FairPoint has had taking over the former Verizon landline operations in Maine since 2009.
  •   BEYOND POLITICS  |  March 06, 2014
    Today’s US media environment might well seem extremely gay-friendly.
  •   THE ONLINE CHEF  |  February 27, 2014
    It turns out that home-cooked scallops are crazy-easy, super-delicious, and far cheaper than if you get them when you’re dining out.
  •   RISE OF THE E-CURRENCIES  |  February 12, 2014
    Plus: Is Rhode Island ready for Bitcoin? Two perspectives

 See all articles by: JEFF INGLIS



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group