Over 5,000 BPO workers are at risk to losing their jobs as call center giant West Contact Services Inc. (WCSI) sells its shares to fellow BPO company Alorica. Perceived to be one of the biggest mergers in the BPO industry in the country, the employees of West Contact Services are now uncertain on whether they get to retain their jobs after the acquisition pushes through.
“The employees of West Contact Services Inc. are uncertain of how the acquisition will impact their employment since the management failed to divulge in complete transparency the reason for the buyout.,” said the BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN Philippines) in a released statement appealing for WCSI to take action on the job security issues of their employees. “West Contact Services Inc. attempted to hold a town-hall meeting on February 18, 2015; however, only a handful of employees were able to attend and many questions remain unanswered, adding more confusion rather than clarifying issues on tenure and benefits.”
According to BIEN, BPOs such as WCSI get to enjoy a maximum of 8 years of income-tax holiday under the Republic Act 7042 (Foreign Investment Act), but most of them fail to provide greater benefits to their employees.
On that note, BIEN Philippines is calling WCSI to hear the voice of its labor force and show respect in meeting their demands, especially now that a major chunk of BPO workers are breadwinners of their respective families.
Mergers and acquisitions have become a common practice among BPO companies, rather than filing for bankruptcy.