Call Centers Oppose Wage Hike

MANILA, Philippines - The call center industry has bucked down clamor from the labor sector for an increase in daily wage saying their workers are already receiving higher salary rates than all other industry workers in the country.

Industry leaders made this known at the launch of the 4th Call Center Fitness Program, which is co-organized by the Call Center Olympics 2012 organized by the Call Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

"Employment generation is more important than overfeeding those already have a job," said ECCP executive vice-president Henry Schumacher said.

A proposed House bill providing for a P125 across-the-board increase in the salary rates of employees and workers is now pending before Congress. Already, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has ruled out the possibility of a P125 across-the-board increase in the daily take- home pay of workers nationwide saying it could trigger displacement of over 300,000 workers.

The call center workers and the entire business process outsourcing sector, which employs over 400,000 workers, are already receiving high salary wage rates and have the best fringe benefits than other workers in the country.

A new entrant can get as much as two month signing bonus, P15,000 monthly salary, incentives, and a host of fringe benefits.. Most of their workers are young people with average age of between 22-24 years old.

The call center industry, however, has one of the highest attrition rate of 18 percent.

The industry though has an odd work schedules as most of their work are done at night and early hours in the morning because most these companies are serving markets that have opposite timezone as the Philippines.

But CCAP president Jojo Uligan said that the attrition rate cannot be traced to the work schedules or health reasons arising from working at night.

Uligan said that a lot of their people leave a company to join another company in the industry, but not leave the industry at all..

"A lot of our workers also left to work in another call center abroad," he added.(BCM)