Sitel workers face anti-labor tactics

By SHAIRA SANTOS
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Continuosly facing harassment and anti-labor employment scheme by the management, members of Sitel Philippines Association of Rank and File Workers (Spark) expressed frustration over the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)’s limp involvement in the case during a conference, July 3, attended by representatives from the parties at stake.

‘Anti-labor’ scheme

Due to the closure of some accounts, Sitel management implemented their re-deployment program that resulted to the massive lay-off of about 1,000 employees, June 21. The said program makes employees sign a waiver that puts them on a “floating” status until they are re-deployed to another account.

The search for new accounts usually takes 15 days to 6 months, while the employees are on floating status without pay.

According to Vincent Toca III, Spark’s spokesperson, “Hindi nila (Sitel management) direktang sasabihin sayo na wala ka nang trabaho. Yung mag-uudyok sayo na magresign ay yung pagiging walang trabaho.”

Toca said that they (Sitel) will not tell you directly that you are out of a job. What forces one to resign is being jobless.Thus, this ‘unpaid’ floating status urges employees to resign and find new jobs.

Upon resignation, the employees will only receive salary from their latest month of duty, clearance, and certificate of employment.

With the issue being blown-out to the public, Sitel was forced to find new accounts for some employees. There are already 53 employees re-deployed to new accounts.

There are employees who want to go back to the company while the others remained firm with their decision to resign.

Continuous harassments

Earlier, Toca disclosed that Spark members were being summoned by the management and were forced to reveal the people behind the strong opposition and the ones who talked to the media.

Toca was even accused by Sitel management of coercing the employees to oppose the comapny’s re-deployment scheme.

According to Toca, they are still facing harrasments and intimidation until now. Further, the known Spark members are being guarded as ordered by Sitel management.

DOLE’s detour and Sitel’s delaying tactics

Last July 3, Spark members attended a conference with the representatives from involved departments. The representatives who were present are: Administrative Officer of PEZA, Atty. Joey Mipa; Sitel’s Vice President-Operations Michael Dela Pena along with Atty. Maceda and Atty. Peralta; Department of Labor and Employment-CAR Director Ronnie Guzman along with Patrick Rellota; and the (NCMB) Director

Spark was frustrated of how DOLE handled the case. According to Toca, instead of resolving the re-deployment scheme case, DOLE discussed about contractualization instead.

Also, DOLE even urged them to reveal the names of Spark members and the ones who signed the petition.

However, Spark remained on their stand to revoke the re-deployment scheme of Sitel management.

“Ang panawagan ng Spark, dapat i-revoke and company’s re-deployment program at sana maging tapat naman ang DOLE sa kanilang serbisyo at pagharap sa kaso,” said Toca.

Moreover, DOLE refused to release the minutes of the meeting while Sitel requested another 15 days extension to render their decision, resulting to the delay of case.

The next conference will be held on July 26, 3:00 PM, at the NCMB office. # nordis.net

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