LA activists raise awareness on plight of Philippine call center agents

LOS ANGELES — Filipino activists and workers rights advocates are calling out a call center company for alleged union busting.

Activists picketed outside of an AT&T store in Los Angeles, to raise issues against Southern California-based Alorica, which operates call centers in the Philippines for big US companies like AT&T.

“You need to be aware that you are contracting with an employer that is promoting the alleged human rights abuses that are present in the Philippines today,” said Eric Norwood, Communications Workers Association.

Alorica has about 40 thousand workers in the Philippines, which is often referred to as the call center capital of the world.

But these protesters say Filipino workers who have recently unionized to improve working conditions were punished by the company.

They say Alorica has unjustly terminated union members and have brought trumped-up charges against some of the leaders, as they were attempting to go on strike.

“We hope that in the end workers can make their demands to Alorica management and Alorica respects their rights to unionize that’s really what we want,” says Nicole Cababa, Bayan USA.

While this action was targeted at Alorica, Filipino activists say it’s an issue that affects many industries.

“We stand up for our Filipino workers during this time, especially when the Duterte administration is not protecting their rights of workers. There’s a lot of repression of Filipino workers in factories in our call centers and different workplaces who are trying to form unions who are trying to uphold their right under the Philippines basic constitution to form a union in order to fight for better wages, better health care fight for safety,” said Joanna Conception, Migrante.

Irvine based Alorica has not responded to requests for comments from BA.

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