Letter: Call-centre stress

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Sir: As a manager in one of the longest-running telephone call- centres, I read with interest Deborah Orr's article "Trouble at the 21st century mills" (23 November).

The view that call-centres undermine family values seems to rest upon an outdated view of the role of women.Work in call-centres is perfectly compatible with the provision of a supportive and loving environment for the upbringing of children. Indeed, the degree of independence and self- sufficiency given to women through working, and the flexibility of the shift system, may well be more conducive to a happy and sustainable family.

Regarding health risks, low paid, unskilled workers have always been at the mercy of exploitative employers. By contrast, conditions in call- centres are relatively benign.

Call-centres are just a contemporary manifestation of the age-long struggle between the needs of businesses to provide efficient service and that of employees to feel secure and valued.

ROBERT DAVIES

William Hill Organisation

Leeds

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