News : Call Center Agents File Suit
Cebu City, July 2, 2014 -- Disgruntled call center agents have filed a complaint for alleged violations of labor standard laws against a call center company in Cebu which ceased operation last weekend.
The complaint was supposed to be heard Monday by the National Labor Relations Commission-Regional Arbitration Board (NLRC-RAB) 7, but the management of Bluconnect Solutions did not show up for the hearing.
It did not also have a lawyer to represent the company prompting the labor arbiter to reset the hearing on July 17.
The call center agents were assisted by Sylvio Dorig, vice president for external affairs of the Inter-Call Center Association of Workers (ICCAW).
The complainants alleged non-payment of overtime pay, shortened break time, as well as non-remittance of premium contributions to Philhealth and Social Security System.
Dorig said the company started terminating more than 300 call center agents since May this year, leaving only some 40 employees when it shut down its operations on Saturday.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 7 director Chona Mantilla said DOLE personnel have three conferences with ICCAW representatives since last week to talk with the affected workers.
"We still have to verify with Dorig because the workers who talked with us were not the ones affected by the alleged Bluconnect closure last Saturday," she said.
Mantilla said the workers who came to them were terminated last May and DOLE will require ICCAW to verify such report.
Mantilla added that DOLE is also now conducting some verification.
Earlier, ICCAW called on the government to look into the plight of the call center workers and strictly implement labor laws in the so-called sunshine industry.
ICCAW is an industry-wide organization for the rights and welfare of Business Process Outsourcing employees.
Cebu-based ICCAW had been calling DOLE for the promotion of a decent work in the BPO sector in the face of several reports of violations of labor standards in the industry.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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