Union Responses to the Offshoring of Call Center Work

By Andrew Stevens and Elizabeth Shi.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There have been common experiences for workers in the Anglo industrialized countries with respect to offshoring. This paper reflects upon the examples of Canada and Australia and examines how the call center industries in each respective country have been impacted by the offshoring of employment, how trade unions have responded and to what extent these responses have been effective. In Australia, trade unions have responded mainly by lobbying the Australian Labor Party for policy and legal changes. In Canada, despite being a country that has largely benefited from the offshoring of call centres, trade unions have nevertheless been compelled to fight for their members’ job security. Offshoring has been used as a strategy by Canadian employers to desist industrial action organized by trade unions. The authors conclude that unions should engage in consumer mobilization and labour action to respond to offshoring.

Keywords: Offshoring, Layoffs, Trade Union, Labour Law, Public Policy

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.441-454. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.203MB).

Andrew Stevens

PhD Student, Department of Sociology, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Andrew Stevens is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His research focuses on labor mobilization in the call center industries located in Canada and India.

Elizabeth Shi

Lecturer, School of Accounting and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Elizabeth Shi is a law lecturer at the School of Accounting and Law, RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on labour law, industrial relations and comparative law.

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