Filipino workers and youth picketed a call center company in Fairview, Quezon City this morning to show solidarity with striking workers of Verizon in the US and called on the telecommunications giant to respect workers’ rights in the US and the Philippines.
The workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and youth led by activist groups Anakbayan and League of Filipino Students were joined by Verizon workers who are in the country to promote awareness about their condition and strike in picketing an office of Teletech located within a mall in the area.
KMU said Verizon, whose workers launched a strike last April 13 over anti-worker demands being made by the company in negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement, should heed workers’ just demands for job security, better working conditions, and improved benefits.
“Multinational companies like Verizon outsource jobs from the US to the Philippines to avail of the cheap and repressed labor being offered by the Philippine government. They are violating workers’ basic rights both in the US and in the country,” said Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson.
The labor leader said workers of Teletech, and of the entire Business Process Outsourcing sector in the country, receive wages lower than the amount needed by their families to live decently, are contractuals in essence, and are being prevented from forming unions.
Verizon workers claim that despite the company’s $39 billion profits in the last three years and its $233 million compensation for its top five executives in the same period, the company wants to offshore more jobs, outsource work to contractors which provide low wages, and deny a fair CBA to Verizon Wireless retail workers.
They also claim that Verizon plans to consolidate call centers and layoff workers in the process, make wireline technicians work away from home for a long period, freeze pension and cutback on sick days, and drastically increase health care costs for retirees.
“What Verizon is doing to its workers in the US, call center companies are also doing to workers in the Philippines. We support Verizon workers in their strike and we are calling on the country’s call center employees to unionize and fight,” Soluta stated.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson, 0928-7215313