BPO workers group condemns criminal raps vs. BIEN, UEA officers

The BPO Industry Employees Network strongly condemns the filing of criminal charges by Alorica management against its officers and those of the Unified Employees of Alorica (UEA).

On November 14, two officers of UEA received subpoenas for charges of “alarms and scandals” and “malicious mischief” filed by the Alorica management before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office against 12 individuals including BIEN President Mylene Cabalona, Secretary General Rico Hababag and UEA President Sarah Prestoza. The charges cited a protest action held sometime in September in one of their sites in Makati City.

Aside from this, a union officer who was already illegally dismissed by Alorica received a subpeona on charges of online libel by one of the HR officers of Alorica. Such charges were filed two months after the UEA filed a notice of strike and following failed negotiations between the union and the management.

We vehemently condemn and deny these criminal allegations hurled by Alorica management against our leaders. Such is a desperate move by Alorica to silence the union and independent groups of BPO workers as we exercise our right to freely organize and express legitimate demands. It is maliciously aimed at intimidating the union and coerce it to withdraw its notice of strike based on union busting efforts by the Alorica management. Continue reading “BPO workers group condemns criminal raps vs. BIEN, UEA officers”

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On the removal of Joel Maglunsod from DOLE

The BPO Industry Employees Network expresses dismay over the removal of Mr. Joel “Jomag” Maglunsod from being Undersecretary of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which was announced by President Duterte evening of October 2.

For many years, the DOLE has mimicked the interest of business to the detriment of workers. For a short period, Ka Jomag’s office as Labor Undersecretary became a reliable and easy venue for redress of grievances for workers. This is not surprising because Ka Jomag is a genuine labor leader with decades of experience as part of the grassroots labor movement.

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Photo from Bulatlat.com

In his capacity as Labor Undersecretary, “Ka Jomag” saw to it that workers’ issues, especially contractualization, are heard. He enforced inspections of labor-only contracting practices of many companies and investigated labor standards and occupation health and safety violations. These bore fruit in orders and decisions that were in favor of the ordinary workers.

Specifically for the workers of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Ka Jomag’s office accommodated social dialogues on important workplace issues. He was helpful in ensuring that BPO workers’ voice are heard by the government and by BPO companies. His office was instrumental in setting a platform for dialogue for BPO companies and workers, including the lone union in the industry, the Unified Employees of Alorica (UEA). Continue reading “On the removal of Joel Maglunsod from DOLE”

On workers’ strike and foreign investments

The BPO Industry Employees Network expresses alarm over the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte blaming workers strikes for factory closures and lack of foreign investments.

BpoworkersonstrikeTo single out workers’ strikes as a factor that dissuades foreign investment is both lame and untrue. Even economic think tanks would be more than willing to link low FDI flows to the Philippines to high electricity cost, poor infrastructure, low productivity and government corruption than to workers’ militant actions. Interestingly, all of these poor governance indicators persist under the Duterte administration.

To blame workers’ strikes for factory closures and lack of industries is dangerous for workers. Coming from the President, such pronouncement effectively undermines the exercise of our constitutional right to strike and self-organization. Continue reading “On workers’ strike and foreign investments”