A labor union in the Philippines has called for a strike, accusing global call center and BPO services provider Alorica of harassing and dismissing employees.
According to Unified Employees of Alorica (UEA), around 200 employees were forced to resign.
The dispute stemmed from Alorica’s decision to relocate one of its call centers to Pasay from Makati, both business districts in the sprawling metropolitan city of Manila.
The move, according to the union, could drive many employees to resign as the company will not provide relocation assistance and transportation services.
The call center in question was part of West Corp’s Agent Services unit that Alorica purchased in 2015.
“The Alorica and West management has left us with no choice but to wage a strike. We have exhausted all efforts to resolve our issues through constructive means and social dialogue,” says Sarah Preztoza, President of the union, according to a local publication Eiler.
Alorica is reportedly willing to resolve employee issues individually, not through the labor union. However, the employee association says it cannot be ignored.
If it goes ahead, this will be the first strike in the history of the Philippines’ BPO industry, say analysts.
“We seek the support of our co-workers in the BPO industry to rally behind the workers of Alorica. We know that we face the same plight and we are optimistic that with our unity, we can improve our working situation and reclaim our rights and worth as employees,” Prestoza added.
Philippines is often described as the world’s call center capital, with hundreds of American corporations depending on Filipinos for customer care service.
The BPO industry is the second-largest source of income for the country, employing 1.2 million people and generating US$22 billion in annual revenue.