Unfair wages for Filipino workers for U.S Call Centers
To those who haven’t worked in a call center before, call centers are also known as BPO companies or Business Process Outsourcing Companies. In this blog we’ll discuss why the U.S accounts are not paying Filipinos unfair wages for their hard work, why the U.S accounts like hiring from the Philippines instead of their own country or other western countries for that matter, what should actually be the minimum wage for Filipinos working under these accounts and most importantly the health risks involved when working for nightshift accounts for U.S customers and/or companies.
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This part is for awareness the basic minimum wage for Filipino’s working in the Philippines today is around ₱290 (US$5.70) to ₱537 (US$10.61) a day as stated here. That is if you’re working in the Philippines. To Filipino’s working inside the country, that’s in the area of “meh”. (Most jobs in the Philippines that have the rate above are in the dayshift work area.
Assuming that a month has 21 working days so on average Filipino’s would be earning around ₱6090.00($125.28) to ₱11277.00 ($231.99) Cheap workers right?
For the U.S the average of working hours is around 8hours a day and the minimum wage for every hours is around $5.00 $15.00 per hour as stated here .
Same thing up top, assuming that the month will have 8 hours a day and 21 working days, the average American working at a fast food restaurant will be earning around $840.00 (₱40,887.42) to $2,520 (₱122,662.26). That’s a whole not of cash for someone living in the Philippines to attain that kind of minimum wage right? But you also have to take into consideration of the living expenses in both countries.
For the average call center employees in the Philippines, the package is around ₱15,000.00 to ₱27,000.00 per month. Still pretty far off from the minimum wage of someone working for convenience stores in the U.S am I right?
When it comes to BPO companies, we instantaneously we associate it with a job that’s a nightshift kind of work, stressed out and constantly on the phone, for the average person working in an office in the Philippines would come inside the work place around 8AM or 9AM and end the shift at around 4PM or 5PM, simple office schedules I’d say. As for the minimum wage of these people working at the office, it’ll depend on the department or tasks.
But for Filipinos working for a call center or BPO for a U.S account, the shift would start at around 8PM to 2AM depending on the clients locations and would just give you around 10% night differential. They could be at the East coast or West coast of the U.S. I can’t begin to state the difficulty of doing a stressful, hectic and tedious job in such times. The health risks definitely outweigh the benefits for working in these companies, I mean, sure they cover your medical expenses, but what about the long lasting effects of a schedule like this?
From the rising risks of heart related complications to substance abuse, here are the health risks of working for a call center in a nightshift setting.
Interferes With Natural Sleep Rhythms
Increases Risk Of Breast Cancer
Increases Risk Of Heart Attack
Increases Risk Of Depression
Increases Risk Of Workplace Injury
Changes Your Metabolism
Increases Risk Of Obesity And Diabetes
Increases Risk Of Gastrointestinal Problems
Deprives Your Body Of Essential Vitamin D
Now this question begs to be answered. with the very limited medical coverage that BPO companies/Call Centers are offering and with limited sick leaves, would you risk all these complications and risks for just around ₱27,000.00? Or would you just find an average dayshift job with almost the same wage? You can read the full increase and percentage of the likeliness of you having the enumerated complications above here .
Why do U.S companies like hiring Filipinos?
I have to be frank with you about this, they are cutting costs of continuously running their business, that’s why they like hiring from countries that are half way around the world. As stated above, the minimum wage gap of Filipino’s and American’s working at the same job is as far as outer space.
Picture this, often you get manufactured high class products that have the tag “Made in China” why is that? cost cutting is the reason. With the masses in China looking for jobs during hard times, there is hardly any choice in choosing a job they’d wanna take in order to feed their families and provide a steady stream of meager income into the household. U.S companies tend to have a habit of exploiting these people in the name production cost cutting.
Let’s get back to the Call Centers in the Philippines, BPO companies/Call Centers are nothing but glorified sweatshops.
It’s true that the wage is very tempting and it could provide you with a quick fix to your financial problems on the get go, but to be fair there needs to be a law that the account you’re gonna be working for should offer you the minimum wage in accordance to where the business is registered, if the company is registered in New York, then the minimum wage for Filipino’s should be equal to those working in New York since Filipinos would be working in Eastern Daylight Time. As stated above, Call Centers are just glorified sweatshops, difference is you can just call yourself a person working for a “company”. Unfair wages for Filipino workers for U.S call center? DEFINATELY!