Increasing repression of trade unions and COVID-19 restrictions have not stopped staff at BIEN in the Philippines continuing to build the power of call centre workers.
Eight workshops with these workers have seen BIEN, the BPO Industry Employees Network, develop a comprehensive set of policies to reform the sector and give workers the security and dignity they deserve. These proposals are now going through the legislative process in the Philippines Congress.
In addition, BIEN provided over 100 staff with paralegal support in response to unjust dismissals, job security and health and safety issues. They have also run labour rights training for nearly 400 call centre workers, trained 34 organisers, and developed three videos on workers’ rights. And importantly – for the long term – eight new chapters were established in call centres providing a building block for future union organising that is sorely needed in the largely unregulated sector.
Staff at BIEN have done all this and more under a two-year UnionAID project co-funded by the Communication Workers of America, at a time of increasing repression of trade unions and COVID-19 restrictions. We congratulate them on their achievements.