BIEN condemns dismissal of union secgen in Alorica

The BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) condemned the relentless union busting measures done by the Alorica and West management against the Unified Employees of Alorica.

Jean speaks to media after an indignation protest yesterday following her termination.

Yesterday, September 11 at around 830AM, Alorica and West management terminated Jean Azaña, the secretary-general of Unified Employees of Alorica despite the union’s notice of strike filed last September 7 on grounds of union busting and union harassment.

“With this recent move to terminate UEA’s secretary general, the management of Alorica only proved that they are a certified union buster. And this gives more reason for Alorica workers’ to hold a strike,” Rico Hababag, Secretary General of BIEN said.

Jean Azana explained that Alorica’s unjust labor practices and union busting scheme are clearly the reasons for her termination. “I have been terminated by company due to violation of 8 points attendance policy. It is a ruthless policy as my medical certificates on the days I have been absent were not recognized. Worse, the company deprived me of due process by not allowing a workers representative during my case conference,” Azana said.

“If the management does not balk at illegally terminating union officers and tenured agents like Jean, then it can and will do the same to anyone they choose to terminate by using the new company policies like attendance policy among others. Thus, the workers can only rely on themselves by holding a strike to stop these dismissals, reinstate those who have terminated and abolish these oppressive policies,” Hababag averred.

In addition, the unjust termination of workers in Alorica is doubly harsh considering the rising cost of living with record-high inflation, according to the group. “These dismissals ultimately affect families especially in this time of economic crisis. Jean, like some other workers in the Alorica who have been unjustly terminated due to the 8-pt attendance system, is a single mother of two teenagers,” Hababag stressed.

The attendance point system is being implemented in many contact centres in the Philippines as a means of systematic attrition wherein workers are driven to work in highly oppressive and exploitative working conditions, according to BIEN.

Systematic attrition keeps workers racing towards achieving near impossible standards (i.e. 8 points for attendance in six months, almost perfect performance scores, etc.) and those who cannot keep up with the race are “managed out” or terminated, the group explained. In the case of Alorica, the 8 point attendance scheme unjustly penalizes workers’ absences and tardiness one by disregarding the just circumstances of such absences or late.

“The attendance policy is only one of the many other issues faced by Alorica workers also faced by BPO workers in other companies. The hostility to unions and disregard of labor rights by BPO companies is very prevalent in the industry. This is an opportune time to show our unity and advance our interest as workers in the industry. We call on every BPO worker to support the UEA and the upcoming strike,” Hababag averred.#


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