Thursday, December 14, 2006

BPO and Trade Unions

Kari Tapiola, Executive Director of International Labour Organisation (ILO), today said employees of Indian BPOs are well within their rights to unionise themselves and national-level unions can also reach out to them.

"All employees, whether in the formal or informal sector, need to have their voice and a bargaining partner," Tapiola said when asked whether the growing number of BPO employees should organise themselves into trade unions. He said while the national-level unions could reach out and encourage the BPO workforce to organise themselves, the decision to align with a particular union should be left to the employees themselves.

True, we must ensure that workers right and privileges are protected and the safeguarded by the law of the land. But do we need Trade Unions to take up the BPO employee’s rights and issues? Not really, trade unions may not help BPO as the nature of the industry is very different from the very concept of a trade union which is based on the notion of collective barging.

Today when BPO’s are struggling hard to retain employees and work place resembles more like an airport where people keep hopping in and out every minute, trade Unions are not the solution to employee’s problem. Given the background of recent concern on security breaches by Indian BPO’s and growing alarm over the integrity issues ,if Trade unions were to become a reality it will certainly impact the growth and reputation of Indian BPO industry.

1 comment:

Astha said...

I never thought of them as airports-- but its a great analogy for the BPO reality in India.

There's a long way to go before the work force in the Indian BPO industry matures. Prior to that unionizing the industry would place unnecessary focus on rights (which are already inflated given the high need for talent) versus a sense of obligation(which is much needed!)

It most certainly wouldn't be good for the industry.