Call centre workers denied benefits

February 03, 2017

Several call centre workers are reportedly walking away from their jobs because of the failure of at least one company to honour its employment contract.

Workers are allegedly being denied overtime pay as well as health insurance benefits.

One human resources representative who works in one of the call centres said recruits are told that they will receive 'insurance benefits and health benefits' but that has turned out to be "lies because they don't really exist".

Another employee told THE WEEKEND STAR that persons have been walk off the job due to poor working conditions. The employee said that several of these persons are not paid for the period they worked before resigning.

"We do a week in the back payment, so they should get pay for that first week that they work. They didn't get paid for that, and they have not been paid for the hours that they would have worked before resigning or walking off," the employee said.

"I know of persons that have left before I started working here and they still haven't been paid, and I know people who are working, who are not being paid for all the hours they work," the person said.




Trade unionist Vincent Morrison said the lack of representation for call centre workers might drive the industry out of Jamaica.

"I am sincerely hoping that this industry doesn't go like 807 garments industry arrangement we had in the 1980s, because there was no unionisation and the workers were treated unfairly, and therefore, there was unrest in an industry that was coming on stream," Morrison said.

"That is why I am critical of institutions like JAMPRO and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce because they continue to refuse to allow the trade unions to participate in these arrangements, whereby there is nobody on the side of the workers."

Morrison, who has been a trade unionist for more then 40 years, said he has heard call centre operations being styled as modern-day slavery and has called for the proper systems to protect workers' rights.

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