ILO urges regulation of employment in telecom services sector

telecomms- image source africatelecomit

telecomms- image source africatelecomit

AN International Labour Organization (ILO) forum has observed that there is the need for the employment relationships in the telecommunications services and contact centres to be better regulated.

The ILO forum on the industry said innovative social dialogue approaches and mechanisms are also required to ensure workers in the industry enjoy the labour protections to which they are entitled.

The Forum Chair and head of the Legal Department of the Latvian ministry of Welfare, Edgars Korčagins, said the forum agreed on the need to define and implement legislation to regulate non-standard forms of employment.

The meeting, the Global dialogue forum on employment relationships in telecommunications services and in the Call Centre industry, aimed to find areas of consensus on how best to underpin future policy making and related social dialogue in the sector.

He added that further support was given to, “intensified and improved”, workplace inspections and a need to promote workers’ rights including for workers in non-standard forms of employment to enjoy the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Worker and employer representatives at the forum also supported the conclusion that more data collection and analysis of employment practices in the field is necessary.

Korčagins added that the meeting acknowledged there are many categories of workers in contact centres and telecommunications services, including those who appreciate the flexibility of non-standard employment relationships and others who would prefer a standard relationship.

“I think these conclusions will allow all of these categories of workers to benefit, no matter what their preferences are”, he said.

The forum’s recommendations would be submitted to the ILO governing body for final approval.

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) more than eight in 10 workers believe that receiving just an extra US$100 a month would have an impact on their household’s standard of living, highlighting the growing problems of inequality worldwide.

The poll tagged ‘ITUC Frontlines poll’ reveals that more than a quarter of those surveyed in the second ITUC wages poll said it would have a big impact on theirs and their family’s living standards, in a worrying trend for labour’s falling income share.

The ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow said the poll from seven G20 countries representing more than 50 per cent of the world’s GDP – including China, France, Germany, India, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States – was further proof for the G20 to support measures to raise low and middle incomes.

“Let’s be realistic, the equivalent of an extra $100 a month is not a significant amount in regards to median annual incomes across G20 countries, yet an overwhelming number of working families across the world say this would have an impact on their living standards. This proves just how inequality is now a global risk for economies worldwide with the income share of labour falling to dangerous levels – issues that labour ministers from the G20 have agreed to address with social protections, minimum wages and collective bargaining,” Burrow said.

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