Trade unionist John Levy is hoping to break down the resistance from operators in the global services sector to have union representation within their firms, pointing out that several government and private-sector entities have scuppered attempts to establish formal arrangements to protect the rights of the workers.
“We have no connection with the outsourcing sector at this time,” Levy, the general secretary of the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE), told The Gleaner. “It is a major challenge because they have been using fixed-term contracts as a weapon.”
Fixed-term contracts are subject to renewal or extension at the sole discretion of the employer, and the union executive believes that such an arrangement creates an inequality in bargaining, especially in a market like Jamaica’s, where the supply of labour is greater than the demand.
“It is more skewed in the employers’ favour and they have taken very good advantage of that, and they have also looked at the labour laws and have creatively applied loopholes to avoid certain responsibilities,” he charged.