LONDON, ONT. -- The City of St. Thomas suffered a big blow Monday when Marriott International told employees they will be closing their local call centre this September.

Employees at the St. Thomas centre, known as Starwood, were told by video conference Monday morning that they will be losing their jobs.

In a statement, Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek said the news is very unfortunate for the community.

“I have spoken with the Ministers of Labour and Heritage, Tourism, Culture and Sport Industries requesting that all possible supports be made available to those facing job losses. I will continue to work with Mayor [Joe] Preston and local economic development stakeholders to promote our region’s many advantages,” he added.

Speaking in a general update on Facebook, Preston said it was disappointing news from Marriott.

"We will, as a city, do all we can for the employees of the Marriott Call Centre and the owner of the building. Our economic development corporation is already on it today, I’ve been on the phone a number of times today. As community we are waiting for more information, but I’m here to say we'll be there St. Thomas strong with them."

Marriott says the permanent shut down in St. Thomas and another at a Customer Engagement Center in San Antonio, TX, will affect approximately 480 associates, and while some will be able to shift to working remotely, many positions will be eliminated.

Associates whose jobs will be lost will receive severance, continued benefits and other forms of assistance to aid in their career transition.

- With files from CTV's Brent Lale


An earlier version of this story indicated 480 people would lose their jobs in St. Thomas, Ont. In fact this is the combined number of job losses at Marriott facilities in St. Thomas and San Antonio, TX.