Labor unions wither away in PH call centers

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LABOR unions are trenchant in the nation’s workplaces—except the sunshine industry that does not see the need for labor unions.

The information technology-Business Processing Association of the Philippines (iBPAP) said on Monday that the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector “don’t have any labor unions” because they properly address the needs of the employees.

Genny Marcial, external affairs executive director of the iBPAP, said that the BPO sector does not have any labor union as groups like these only exist when particular rights and privileges of the workers aren’t met

“[The employees] once tried to have a labor union, but it did not last whether locally or internationally because their needs are properly met,” Marcial said.

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She pressed that the BPO industry, being one of the fastest growing industry in the Philippines, start off employee salaries with P15,000 to P20,000 a month, with some employers offering benefits and considerations such as health cards, loan and even the right to go back to the employer several times whether the employee resigned or was fired.

“We do that in the industry since we are really in need of talent,” Marcial said.

At times, employees have their own way. The BPO agents can transfer from one company to another “because it is easy to apply and be hired.”

Marcial said that BPO agents are regularly promoted in a minimum of two years, and can earn up to P500,000 a month if they hold on to their positions and continue in the sunshine industry.

She added that the employees in the industry provide the best consideration for its talents whether voice sector or technical support, as the industry continue to grow and is in need for more inflow of talents.

“In our case, agents do not engage in unions because they would only pay their union fees and would never benefit from it [since they are provided with good pay and benefits],” Marcial said.

In 2012, the BPO sector had obtained a total of 777,000 additional work force; health care information management attending to health-related concerns grew about 200 percent in their labor volume.

The BPO is labeled as one of the sunshine industries in the country, together with tourism among others.

Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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