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NEW YORK — Over the course of a four-day visit to the Philippines this week, four representatives of Communications Workers of America who are on strike discovered that the extent to which Verizon is offshoring work is far beyond what has previously been reported and what the company publicly has claimed. Verizon is offshoring customer service calls to numerous call centers in the Philippines, where workers are paid just $1.78 an hour and forced to work overtime without compensation.

Terrified that the public might find out about what has happened to the good middle-class jobs the company has shipped overseas, Verizon sent private armed security forces after peaceful CWA representatives and called in a SWAT team armed with automatic weapons.

And despite Verizon’s protestation that the current US strike is not affecting service, it has forced call center workers in the Philippines to work overtime hours since 40,000 highly trained U.S. employees went on strike, including about 13,000 US call center workers. Call center workers said they were forced to commit to 1-2 hours of overtime 5 days a week, plus a full 8-hour 6th day of overtime. Verizon’s subcontractors do not pay workers additional overtime compensation for these hours.

“Verizon is terrified that the public might find out about what has happened to the good middle-class jobs the company has shipped to the Philippines. The truth is that Verizon is destroying middle-class American jobs so that it can pay workers $1.78 per hour and force them to work around the clock, rather than preserve good jobs in our communities. That’s what our strike is about. Instead of profiting off of poverty abroad, Verizon should come back to the table and negotiate a fair contract that protects middle-class jobs,” said Dennis Trainor, President of CWA District One.

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