HOT Telecommunication Systems, the cable television and communications company, is considering shutting its customer service call center in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox community of Elad, east of Tel Aviv. The center serves the company’s HOT Mobile cellular telephone customers and currently employs some 120 ultra-Orthodox women. The company may seek to outsource the service to an outside supplier.
"The matter is being looked into and no decision has yet been made," HOT said in a statement. Although the employees have not received any official notice of a change, a knowledgeable source at the call center said the direct employment relationship between HOT and the staff is to be terminated as of December 31. "For a month, representatives had come here to ensure continuity of professional staffing,” the source said.
HOT has been cutting staff recently. Its plans to outsource its staff of technicians sparked a labor dispute at the company that also affected customer service.