Communications Workers of America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

California AT&T Workers and Allies Protest Union-Busting in the Philippines by CA-based AT&T Vendor Alorica

Communications Workers of America (CWA) members and allied groups rally in Los Angeles and San Francisco to demand AT&T oppose Alorica’s aggressive union-busting of call center worker union in the Philippines

California, USA – AT&T workers and members of CWA, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), and Filipino activist groups Migrante and Bayan held protests in California’s two largest cities demanding AT&T put pressure on its Irvine-based vendor Alorica to end union-busting of workers’ United Employees of Alorica (UEA) union and BPO Industry Employee Network (BIEN) in the Philippines and start engaging in meaningful dialogue.

Alorica management has refused to address legitimate concerns of the union and workers, terminated union members, and brought trumped up criminal charges against union leaders.

“We would call on AT&T to take action if one of their vendors trampled workers’ rights here in the U.S., so we want to make it clear that we stand with the workers in the Philippines and it’s time AT&T step up and stand with them too,” said Orange CWA Local 9510 President Domonique Thomas. “AT&T needs to do everything it can to push Alorica to engage its workers in dialogue.”

AT&T has increasingly offshored U.S.-based call center jobs to the Philippines where workers are paid pennies on the dollar of what U.S. union workers would earn, while failing to address concerns about harassment, poor working conditions, and inadequate training.

“The brave Alorica call center workers in the Philippines are exercising their right to organize and expressing legitimate demands to improve their place of work,” said CWA Local 9410 Officer Roland Andersen in San Francisco. “We are proud to show solidarity with their cause, which ultimately shares much in common with our own.”

CWA members, UEA, and BIEN have the shared goal to raise global working standards in the communications industry and stop their employers’ race to the bottom. At the San Francisco protest, CWA members were joined by Ed Cubelo, Chairman of the Metro Manila Chapter of Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement-KMU); members of Filipino activist groups Migrante and Bayan; and members of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).

“As migrant Filipino workers in the U.S., we stand with our fellow workers in the call center industry back home because the dire working conditions they are facing now are part of the reason why we were forced to find better jobs abroad,” says Bernadette Herrera, Chairperson of Migrante USA. “The Duterte administration’s failed promise to end labor-only contracting has made workers’ lives across industries more precarious while relentlessly attacking the trade union movement through union-busting, harassment and killing at least 30 union leaders. It is unacceptable how Alorica, AT&T and other companies profit from these policies.”

Alorica is an American company based in Irvine, California, with operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, China, Philippines and Japan.

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Nell Geiser

Assistant Director of Research
Communications Workers of America
California AT&T Workers and Allies Protest Union-Busting in the Philippines by CA-based AT&T Vendor Alorica