An organization of business process outsourcing (BPO) employees has urged the government to fine companies that breach safety standards and put their employees’ lives at risk. The BPO Industry Employees’ Network (BIEN) made the call after it received reports that some BPO companies did not evacuate their workers in the wake of the recent earthquake, which struck Metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon. BIEN said in a statement that the government must implement the new occupational safety and health standards law (RA1105) and fine firms that violate the rules. It added that the government and companies must consider suspending operations until buildings and offices are declared safe, given the risk of aftershocks. BPO companies that failed to evacuate employees during the earthquake received a backlash from the group, saying that doing “business as usual” in the midst of a life-threatening situation is both illegal and inhumane.
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