July 13, 2013

The HB 1180 From A Call Center Agent’s POV


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This is the 3rd time that House Bill (HB) 1180 is being filed in Congress. It was recently re-filed by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon. It’s known as the BPO Workers’ Welfare and Protection Act of 2013 and it has 4 main objectives:

  • Regularization of all BPO workers upon the sixth month of employment as trainee or apprentice, or upon the completion of a maximum probationary training period of six months.
  • Standardized restroom breaks not shorter than five minutes each, with intervals of two hours during their working hours.
  • Entitlement to medical benefits upon entry in the BPO company and not merely upon regularization.
  • Right to Self-Association, to engage in Collective Bargaining, and to participate in Democratic Exercises

I’ve been in the call center industry since 2007 and I’ve worked for 7 call centers already – Alorica, Sykes Asia, Convergys, Teleperformance, Sutherland, Transcom and now, Sitel Philippines. Let me try to recall which of these call centers doesn’t follow the 4 main objectives of HB 1180.

For #1, all of those call centers do regularize their employees upon the completion of six months EXCEPT Alorica Philippines. This was in 2007 when I worked for Alorica Philippines for almost 8 months and I never received any regularization papers.

For the #2 objective, I don’t have any problems taking a pee whenever I feel the need to, in all 7 call centers.

For the #3 objective, not all the 7 call centers provide medical benefits (particularly an HMO or health card like Maxicare or Intellicare) upon Day 1. Alorica doesn’t provide it upon entry, as well as Sykes Asia, Teleperformance, and Sitel Philippines.

I received my Intellicare with Convergys since Day 1, as well as Sutherland (Maxicare) and Transcom (ActiveOne).

For the #4 objective of HB 1180, all these 7 call centers have no Union, as far as I know. No one talks about forming or joining any Union in all these 7 call centers and no one is recruiting the newbies.

Therefore, I support House Bill 1180, especially because of the 3rd and 4th objectives. I see no reasons why Congress should not approve this excellent bill EXCEPT if these call centers (BPO) are opposing the formation of Union and giving out the medical benefits (HMO card) upon Day 1 or the New Hire Orientation.

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