Sunday, October 3, 2010

Organizing Opportunity: Call Centers

While I was in the midst of my series on Organizing in the Retail Sector, I began to think to myself about other sectors that in my opinion, are ripe for organizing. The first thing that popped into my mind was Customer Service Call Centers.

Think about it for a minute. call centers(the ones that are still here and have not been outsourced) employ workers who are not paid very much, who work in stressful environments, have limited benefits, and who are disconnected from upper management. The disconnect between their pay level, and that of management is also a good source of ammunition.

So why haven't OPEIU or SEIU, or anyone else made an effort to organize these people?

For one, I know an excuse could be that organizing workers at a call center would be more difficult due to heightened security at these offices, but hell, if we can organize other workers in secure locations(Airline Industry, anyone?)

My point is, shouldn't we at least be making the attempt? For once, instead of another PAC commercial this and every other fall, I'd like to see a simple commercial from the AFL-CIO(or even CtW) that says, "If you and your co-workers want to form a union, call us at 1-800-go-union." Of course, we'd then have to divert precious PAC money into something else like - BUILDING A LABOR MOVEMENT.

Think about how many call centers you pass every time you drive down a highway into downtown of wherever you live. Think about how many employees there are who could join the labor movement if we made the effort.

"You can't do it, unless you organize." - Samuel Gompers

In Solidarity,


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