Employees in the last bastion of unregulated workplaces in the industry – contract call centres – are set for a boost in conditions, adding to an important win last week by unions for call centre workers in major IT companies.

Over 5,000 operators working in five of the largest contract call centres have won an interim award which provides redundancy entitlements, protection for trainees and provides for increased union representation of employees in contract call centres.

The interim award made by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission today takes effect as of today and will remain in place for three months, or until a final award safety net of wages and conditions is made.

Immediate beneficiaries include 75 employees of Pracom who are to lose their jobs in two weeks. They will receive redundancy entitlements similar to those won by unions for One.Tel employees last year.

“The interim award is another important step forward in the unions broader claim for a comprehensive contract call centre award,” said ACTU call centre campaign coordinator Belinda Tkalcevic.

“The interim award is a significant development for the contract call industry which is largely free of the protection of a minimum award of safety net wages and conditions and in which non-union employment arrangements have dominated.”

The interim award follows hot on the heels of another victory for thousands of call centre workers in large telcos such as Primus, AAPT, Vodafone, Hutchison and McQuarie Corporate who won pay increases of up to $4,000 per year with a new Telecommunications Service Industry Award made last Friday.

For Media Comment:

Gail Drummond CPSU National Organiser 0408 395 940 (Teletech)

Martin Foley ASU Branch Exec President 0419 312 326 (Pracom)

Belinda Tkalcevic ACTU call centre campaign coordinator 0427 510 346