Published: January 26, 2012
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed President Aquino for indicating apparent lack of concern for the future of hundreds of thousands business process outsourcing industry workers in his statement on the US government’s drive against outsourcing.
House Bill 3596 or the “Call Centers and Consumers Protection Bill” which encourages American companies to farm out their non-core business within the US and penalizes those dealing with overseas BPO, is currently filed on the US Congress. President Obama, meanwhile, declared in his State of the Union Address “to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs” in America.
Disregard for Phl BPO workers’ welfare
“Obama’s campaign against outsourcing is indeed alarming for many Filipino BPO workers. Yet the Aquino government did not even bother to raise a finger and had simply settled on assumptions that the US will continue to outsource. Shame on you, Pres. Aquino!” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
Believing Obama’s support for HB 3596 is only a campaign strategy for the upcoming US elections, Aquino said: “At the end of the day, like any other country, America would want to make their companies more effective, competitive, et cetera, and if outsourcing is one of the keys towards that, then I assume it will continue.”
“This utter disregard for the future of Filipino BPO workers is unforgiveable. The Aquino government should start taking up actions that would truly serve the interests of Filipino workers and people, not of big foreign companies,” said Soluta.
Warning vs. more anti-worker policies
KMU warned the Aquino government against using the situation to further push on more repressive policies on Filipino workers just to retain its so-called sunshine industry in the country.
“If Obama’s moves advance, Aquino is going to be more desperate to retain the investments of US BPO companies in the country. That would mean offering cheaper and more repressed labor of Filipino workers,” said Soluta.
“We will not allow that to happen. Filipino workers have suffered long enough for the profit-making schemes of big foreign companies,” he added.
Building a self-reliant econ
KMU said that these recent events clearly highlight the vulnerability of employment and industry that the Aquino government promotes in the country.
“The Aquino administration has to move beyond a crisis-wracked economy dominated by the US. He must stop relying on the US, or any other country for that matter, to create jobs in the country,” Soluta said.
“What we need is a self-reliant economy, able to provide decent, secured jobs and wages for the people. We have to start building our national industries and develop agriculture as its foundation by implementing genuine agrarian reform,” he added.