Fightback previously reported on redundancies at council-funded Wellington company CallActive, managed by John Morrison.
This week, Morrison’s new company Plus64 Connect is reportedly undergoing a new series of redundancies. This mass shedding of staff particularly relates to TrustPower contracts. Plus64Connect hasn’t folded, however with limited contracts this is still a risk.
TrustPower is a NZ-owned company (like Plus64 Connect), however as with any business, money is the bottom line. No companies run for profit serve the interests of local workers.
A number of Plus64 employees were previously employed by Morrison’s CallActive. Staff are reportedly glum, applying for new jobs, some having only been employed very briefly.
This kind of insecurity is very common in call centre work. You’re only secure if you have competent management – which is really hard to come by in a call centre. The focus is on numbers of calls, rather than quality – as obviously this means more money for the company (in an outsourced setting anyway). If you are lucky enough to land a full time position, only the bare minimum of entitlements are offered. Therefore the only difference between fulltime work, and a zero hour contract is two weeks’ notice. As outsourced clients come and go, you are never secure in your position.
Call centre workers slave long hours, are expected to be available at the drop of a hat, and customers don’t treat you like a human being so much as a punching-bag.
There is no incentive for businesses to provide security, unless threatened by legal or collective action. If workers coordinate and organise across the sector, they can gain more control of their work conditions.