Baguio councilors take distance from BPO labor dispute

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The Baguio city council now refuses to be involved in a labor dispute between the business process outsourcing company Sitel and some Sitel employees led by Vicente Toca III, a member of SPARK. The council referred the case to the committee on employment, livelihood, cooperatives and persons with disability, and is now undergoing conciliation at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. The dispute is about Sitel’s redeployment program, or the reassigning of call center agents to other accounts following the termination of the contract of the account previously handled, a move that is seen by the other party as constructive dismissal. SPARK claims 1,000 workers are affected by the redeployment program, in which call center agents may experience a waiting period of 15 days until they are assigned to a new account for they are not being paid. Councilor Benny Bomogao said the national government should perhaps come up with measures to shorten the waiting period’s duration. Councilor Elmer Datuin also hopes the matter will be solved soon saying it might affect investor confidence.