ALVIN (FOX 26) - They will be soon baking fewer pepperoni pies at the CiCi's in Alvin. That's because in this town there's a lot more being cut than pizza.
You see next door, Dish Network, the restaurant's biggest source of customers, is shutting down and eliminating 550 local jobs at its call center.
"When I'm walking out there are a lot of people in tears talking on the phone, crying their eyes out, because this a life changing event," said Santana Trigo whose job is being eliminated by Dish.
Trigo says he and other call center workers were blindsided by the closure, given their high performance reviews and recent across-the-board wage hike.
"This is some people's main source of income. We are making pretty good money here and all that has just been taken away," said Trigo who supports his mother and siblings with his earnings.
In an e-mail to Fox 26, Dish called the decision "difficult" and part of a "consolidation" of its customer service operations.
The workers in Alvin are being encouraged to apply for Dish positions elsewhere. Gary Kellen says he's going to try and stick with the company.
"I'm flexible to go anywhere, hopefully transferring out, to go some place else. They have places in Colorado, everywhere else," said Kellen.
But that's not an option for Yasheka Robinson whose roots run too deeply in the Houston area. She strongly suspects Dish's Alvin shutdown is more transfer than consolidation, with her job of five years headed to a call center overseas.
"I know it is. I don't care how you spin it, it's definitely a lay-off because relocating five or ten hours away isn't an option," said Robinson.
Dish's workers in Alvin will remain at the call center for 60 more days before the paychecks stop. Workers say severance packages were not offered by the company.