TIRANA, February 18
‘Solidariteti’ is the name of the first national Union of Contact Centers in Albania. The union was established on Monday by a group of representatives from the sector that employs over 30,000 people in the country. The news was shared by various organizations through their social media profiles. This is also the first new union established for the last two decades.
The National Union of Contact Centers, Solidarity aims to represent the 30,000 people employed by the sector that is mostly working for the Italian market. The representatives of Italian Telecommunication Union joined the Albanian employees provide customer care services for big names like Amazon, Apple, and Lottomatica.
The BPO is one of the fastest growing sectors in Albania, and based on official data, over seven percent of the formal labor force is employed by call centers that offer services in the Italian language.
“We are the voice that customers hear when they need technical assistance and now we are going to give a voice to our organizations,” a representative of Teleperformance’s employees said.
Moreover, they added that the union is an important step for the sector and it will help to improve the standards for the people working in call centers. At the same time, employers will have to start negotiations in order to reach a collective contract for the entire sector.
The initiative received support by the Institute for Critique and Social Emancipation (ICSE) and UNI Global Union. The latter is a global union federation for skills and services with 20 million members.
“Considering the fastest expansion of BPOs in Albania we have to make sure that these new jobs come with good labor conditions and satisfying wages,” representative of ICSE Bora Mema said.
On her part, the representative of UNI Global Union, Teresa Casertano said that the globalization of services shouldn’t imply for a global race towards the lowest standards. She highlighted that the Albanian Union for call centers will have a domino effect for the organization of call center unions in other countries in Europe and beyond.
Further on, members of the Italian Telecommunication Unions SLC-CGIL and FISTEL-CISL stood with the Albanian counterparts at the launch.
“We can no longer only think about Italian contact center workers and Italian working conditions because this is a global industry. Workers’ problems in Albania and workers’ problems in Italy are closely tied together, and a multinational approach is the only way we will solve these issues,” said Marco Del Cimmuto and Giorgio Serao for Italian unions SLC-CGIL and FISTel-CISL.
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News Source/Photo Credit: IKESH