Unions are stepping up their push for better conditions for call centre workers in the wake of the One.Tel disaster.

More than 1,000 call centre staff at One.Tel are facing the sack from this week after a creditors’ meeting yesterday revealed debts of up to $600 million.

The One.Tel workers had their contracts upgraded to award standard by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on Monday after Prime Minister John Howard intervened to support the union in the case.

“One.Tel demonstrates how vulnerable many employees on individual contracts are. Unfortunately John Howard is not going to intervene to help them if their company goes bust,” ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today.

Combined union organisers are today targeting employers in Queensland’s call centre capital on the Gold Coast as part of a nationwide campaign against sub-standard individual contracts in call centres.

“Our call centre organisers are receiving a lot of calls from workers worried about their legal entitlements and job security,” Ms Burrow said.

“We’ve heard of call centres paying as little as $4 an hour. The ACTU is working with six unions in the Call Central campaign to make sure shonky operators lift their game.

“Decent employers in this industry are signing up to our national code of conduct to give confidence to both their employees and their customers,” Ms Burrow said.

“One.Tel proves that the best way for individual employees to protect themselves is to get together in the workplace with a union.”

Workers wanting more information can phone the ACTU Call Central

Hotline on 1300 365 205 or visit the website: www.callcentral.com.au

For further information contact: Jeremy Vermeesch 03 9664 7322