Who would have thought serenading the government with a Christmas carol about pay and conditions for call centre members would be a useful campaigning tool? But this has been just one of the effective strategies thought up by our youthful partners at BIEN in the Philippines. to draw attention to the effects of the pandemic on their call centre members.
Through their catchy campaigns, including a “We Deserve Better” May Day Unity Ride and an “Our Lives Matter” webinar to develop health and safety policy for the call centre industry, BIEN has been able to increase union membership even as the pandemic prevents face-to-face organising.
In addition their regular GO BIEN education for new members (General Orientation on BIEN), they hold a monthly “Know Your Rights” paralegal workshop so they can defend members from workplace violations. This resulted in several union committees and a full Chapter emerging.
BIEN also joined other labour organisations in a “STOP THE ATTACK” campaign, focusing on the deadly red-tagging of activists as communists or terrorists