30-Nov-2005

Unions In BPO Industry

Union leaders may be dialling the wrong number in trying to unionise BPO workers, says The Telegraph. This is good inspite of the mixed metaphors:
...the unions are on a wild goose chase. Unless, of course, they are able to organize white-collar unions, customized for the BPO sector, with monthly meetings slated in local discotheques to discuss issues such as triple digit increments.
The article also notes that the BPO industry is now more than just call-centres:

The nature of the BPO industry itself is undergoing a radical change. Some of the best Mumbai law firms are now working for swish legal outfits based in New York and getting paid top dollar. European design houses are migrating high-end products to India, while Fortune 500 companies are increasingly relying on Indian firms to do data modelling, gather business intelligence and help them take the next big investment step in Dow using sophisticated software applications.

Would these well-qualified professionals spend their time in forming unions? Unlikely. But are unions needed in the BPO industry? I would say yes. How else would they organize themselves for the fight over that coffee maker that hasn't been working since last night?

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