News : Call Centre Company Parseq Attacked Over Pay and Conditions at Sunderland Site
Sunderland, UK, May 4, 2017 -- A company which employs hundreds in the North East has come under fire for pay and conditions at its Sunderland call centre.
The GMB trade union has blasted Parseq, a customer services provider which operates a centre on the Doxford Park trading estate, for allegedly not paying its workers a living wage.
GMB are calling on the company, who provide services for high-profile firms such as HSBC, Sainsbury’s and BT, to pay all of its staff a living wage of £8.45.
Currently, they claim, the starting salary for an Inbound Customer Service Advisor in Sunderland is just above the national minimum wage, even though many of Parseq’s clients have committed to paying employees the higher living wage.
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They also allege that "conditions at Parseq are so unpleasant union members have to operate in secret like some sort of North East Underground Resistance".
Chris Preston, GMB Regional Organiser said: "Given the companies who our members are actually doing the work for - and their public commitments to fair and ethical treatment of staff - it is a shocking contrast and one that GMB is challenging head on.
"When a company is an accredited living wage employer they should also check that any outsourced or contracted out work is also with a living wage employer."
Graham Stein, managing director of Parseq contact centre division said the company ‘do not recognise the conditions described by the GMB Union’.
He added: "In April we introduced a pay rise across the contact centre division which means every employee is now being paid in excess of the National Living Wage and we are committed to phasing in the Real Living Wage.
"Our aim is to be an employer of choice, which means we listen to our employees and act on what they tell us. We have an open-door policy and provide informal and formal opportunities for people to raise any grievances on a regular basis.
"At the end of April this year over 70 per cent of contact centre employees completed an anonymous employee engagement survey. The results show 8.67 out of every 10 members of staff are committed to their role."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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