Indian IT employees need trade union partnership: Labour leader

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Bangalore, Dec 6 (UNI) Indian workers in the IT and BPO sector urgently need the services of trade unions to end a democratic deficit and tackle common issues in the sector, UNI Global Union (UGU) General Secretary Philip Jennings said today.

Speaking to mediapersons here, he said an independent report of Indian BPO companies, accused of failing to listen to their staff and breaching conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in order to keep out unions, warned that half of their staff were concerned about pay levels.

Mr Jennings said the Swiss-based UGU had 15 million members worldwide, among whom one million belonged to 27 Indian unions.

''UGU has helped to launch unions for IT, BPO and call centres, security and commerce workers. Now we plan to unite staff in private sector, finance, mobile phone and courier workers,'' he added.

He said UNITES, an union launched by UGU to organise the BPOs, including those with jobs off-shored from European and American companies, had found a disturbing trend in the industry.

Mr Jennings said a Scotland-based business school in its report said management was seen as most successful in listening to employees' ideas about how the service could be improved. Staff in BPO industry were under great stress, clocking 216 hours of work in a month, and two thirds of the staff reported being 'very' or 'quite' pressurised working against the target.

UNI

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