Workers claim they’re victims of illegal closure

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


SOME 40 employees of a business process outsourcing (BPO) company are holding vigil outside their office at the Dakay Building on Escario St., Cebu City in a bid to stop management from carting away company equipment and assets.

Mamick Unabia of Inter-Call Center Association of Workers (ICCAW) said they are victims of illegal closure of their firm Leadamorphosis. “But we will fight against our employer’s attempt to take away our livelihood,” he said.

Leadamorphosis handles voice and non-voice outbound calls for US clients. The company was formerly called Vector.

Last June, Leadamorphosis merged with another BPO called Sasnet, which handled non-voice marketing for home security gadgets.

Temporary shutdown

ICCAW, on the other hand, is an industry-wide association of BPO workers and has a chapter among Leadamorphosis workers.

Mamick said they started camping out in front of the building the other day after some 20 computer units were taken out of the office.

He said they will continue the stakeout until management talks to them in good faith.

Last Jan. 8, management informed its 120 workers that it will shut down temporarily due to the structural damage incurred by the building after last October’s earthquake.

The workers, though, checked with City Hall officials and found no truth to the claim.

“Leadamorphosis also did not submit required notices at the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for bankruptcy, insolvency, redundancy or closure,” Unabia said.

He said this violates the Labor Code of the Philippines.

Unabia said he and Leadmorphosis workers also did not receive their last paycheck, covering the period Dec. 15 to Dec. 31, 2013.

He said the mandatory deductions for Social Security System, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig Fund for the last quarter of last year were also not remitted.

Outside help

Unabia urged Leadamorphosis CEO and owner Paul Steven Slannery and vice president Kirk Nethercott to tell them what is happening.

“No more lies and maneuvers. You owe your employees who have served you for several years the truth,” Unabia said.

ICCAW officer Rosie Hong called on Dole and the BPO industry employers association to facilitate the resolution of the grievances of Leadamorphosis’ workers.

Last year, Dole decided to require call centers to post cash bonds equivalent to one-month salary and benefits of the total number of its employees after the sudden closure of Direct Access that left 600 workers jobless and their salaries, commission and overtime pay unpaid.

National Conciliation and Mediation Board Director Edmund Mirasol said the bond requirement was an offshoot of the Direct Access closure.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2014.

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