Selkirk workers caught up in HMV’s cashflow problems

Fears that 19 permanent jobs would be lost at a Selkirk call centre following the collapse of HMV have proved unfounded.

But 19 temporary staff will be laid off to protect these permanent positions.

On Tuesday last week the iconic high street chain HMV, which ran 223 music and video stores nationwide, handed the 100-year-old company over to administrators Deloitte, leaving 4,123 employees facing an uncertain future.

The Selkirk call centre on Level Crossing Road, run by Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS), employed 19 permanent staff and more temporary workers to handle sales and customer services for HMV. HGS confirmed that service was suspended on Thursday last week, “in the absence of any instruction from the administrator”.

HMV has been a client of HGS since 2006. While these permanent staff were under contract to HGS and not HMV, their fear was, simply put, if there were no more HMV calls for them to handle, there would be no more paid work.

Asked by TheSouthern if these jobs were safe, a spokesperson for HGS told us: “The team of 19 permanent HGS staff working on the HMV contract will be reassigned to other client contracts in our Selkirk contact centre.

“We expect no redundancies, although those permanent staff will replace a similar number of temporary staff working on other HGS client projects.

“Those temporary staff will leave us [on Thursday, January 17] with seven days’ notice, as per their temporary employment contracts.

“A small number of additional temporary staff that were taken on by HGS towards the end of last year to support the HMV Christmas peak will also leave us today [January 17], and will be paid seven days’ notice, as per their temporary contract.”

On the day HMV went into administration, a public announcement was made that it would refuse to honour millions of pounds of online gift cards and vouchers – many received as Christmas presents only weeks before.

Despite HMV continuing to sell gift cards until the day before the company went into administration, Deloitte stopped accepting them once appointed to the business last week.

After the news broke, TheSouthern was told the Selkirk call centre was swamped by calls from customers concerned about outstanding orders and gift cards. At one point, around 200 were said to be waiting in the queues.

However, this week HMV’s administrators bowed to public pressure and said gift cards and vouchers will be redeemed in stores as of Tuesday this week.