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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Minimum Wage

minimum wage

(Picture taken from Bicol Today)

I've read an article from Yahoo! Philippines about the proposed increase in the minimum wage. The report specifically mentioned that the call center industry objects it, saying that call center agents are already receiving high salary.

I don't understand why the call center industry "bucked down clamor from the labor sector for an increase in daily wage saying their workers are already receiving higher salary rates than all other industry workers in the country."

Yup, it's true that most of the call center agents in the country are already earning above minimum wages but why the need to buck down the demand by the other sectors for an increase in the minimum wage? We won't benefit in the increase in the minimum wage but other sectors would benefit from it. So we should support the demand for a higher minimum wage -- P125 across-the-board.

The news item also mentioned that the call center industry "has one of the highest attrition rate of 18 percent" which I agree. We even have a term "call center hopper" because it's very easy to transfer from one call center to another.

However, I rarely hear my coworkers from the call center industry transferring to other industry -- mostly it's within the call center industry as well. It seems that the trend is to transfer to another call center that offers higher salary or better health benefits.

I usually encounter workers from other sectors (mostly OFW) transferring to the call center industry (trying the BPO industry). Also, most call center agents that I know go abroad to work as call center agents as well (or anything related to Information Technology). I guess the term, once a callboy, always a callboy applies. It's hard to leave the BPO industry once you have tasted the salary and health benefits.

If the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) would conduct a survey asking if it's time to increase the minimum wage, I would surely say YES.

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