Letter: Workers on call

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The Independent Culture
Workers on call

Sir: Congratulations on the excellent article on call centres (Magazine, 2 January). It graphically illustrated the exploitation of workers in our "flexible" job market. The use of agency staff makes it possible for employers to avoid their moral obligation to attend to the welfare of their workers in terms of job security, employment rights and pay.

It is clear that telemarketing is a permanent feature of the way many businesses operate and people who work in these centres should be given permanent jobs with all the benefits that full-time staff are entitled to. The abuse of agency staff where the vast majority of employees are agency workers needs to be addressed in any "fairness at work" legislation.

Your article implied that agency staff are not entitled to join a union. That is not so. The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has a recognition agreement with Manpower plc and employees of other agencies are welcome to join.

CLIVE WALDER

Birmingham

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