Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/913/23441

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 August 2016

A day in the life of a call centre worker

"I am on a zero-hour contract with the promise of 16 hours if I am good"

photo greyweed/Creative Commons

photo greyweed/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Jones, Nuneaton

"Save the... save the... save the nhs!" I chanted on the last march in London. Now here I am working in a call centre for a profit-making company that delivers care to people in their homes. I am on a zero-hour contract but with the promise of 16 hours if I am good.

I manage carers who have to drive between their clients without pay for travel time. I also have to persuade such carers over the phone in the early hours to take on more work to cover others who are off sick. I am wondering - apart from needing to pay my rent and bills - what I am doing here.

Within a short time of me working at the call centre, there was a clear example of this exploitation. A client, Tom, asked for the carer of the day to call his phone and then Tom would open his door to let the carer in.

When the carer, Winnie, arrived and phoned Tom, there was no answer. I was still learning the job so called over a manager who instructed me to tell her to move on to the next appointment so that she wouldn't be late.

I was asked to call another carer, James, to see if he could try to visit Tom. I know James, we were both on the same induction training (training that I was paid for attending while James was not).

It was only 7.30am and James' first appointment wasn't for an hour. But he agreed to get up early and make the extra call. When he arrived, he reported again that Tom was not answering the phone. So just as with Winnie I thanked James and told him to move on to his next client.

It is then that James asked me, "will I get paid for this?" The manager sitting next to me heard and told me that the company won't pay for any care not delivered - don't tell him that though, she said.

I pointed out how unfair this was but was just again told that it was company policy. I even considered sending James some of my own limited cash and checking up on him to see if he pursued the matter and managed to get what was owed to him.

Instead I emailed my notice to leave the job.

We have to fight to ensure carers - in the main very low paid women - are paid travel time, fuel rates and for training. They shouldn't have to pay for their own criminal record checks. They shouldn't lose out on pay if they are sent to see a client who isn't in or refuses to see them.

And we have to fight for a fully integrated, publically owned and democratically run system of health and social care to meet the needs of all patients and workers.

All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 August 2016:


#KeepCorbyn

Kick out the Blairites

#KeepCorbyn: Answer right's attacks with firm socialist programme

Corbyn union nominations round-up and view from the workplace

#KeepCorbyn: huge support at rallies and among Labour rank and file


Socialist Party news and analysis

Black footballer's taser death: stop police racism now

Pay still below pre-crisis levels

Train fares to rise again - nationalise railways now!

500m on civil service redundancies in two years

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Trump in trouble - political polarisation deepens

International news in brief


Socialist readers' comments

Readers respond to Trotskyist red scare smears by capitalist media

Would you call G4S for help over discrimination?

The Socialist inbox


Workplace news and analysis

Deliveroo strike action forces bosses to back down

Junior doctors set for further strike action

A day in the life of a call centre worker

Workplace news in brief


Save our NHS

Save our NHS!

The threat of private health insurance

Organise against secretive NHS cuts plans


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Greenwich council tenants: We won't pay! We won't move!

Local estate agents back Butterfields tenants

Nottinghamshire Pride makes history

Immingham residents' housing battle


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 August 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Workers:

triangleBernie's book shows need for workers' party

triangleCapita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

Pay:

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleFighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

triangleRoyal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleNHS - build the fightback

Carers:

triangleOpinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

triangleEnd poverty pay for sleep-in care workers

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Travel:

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleRail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Nuneaton:

triangleCoventry: march following racist police killing

NHS:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

Health:

triangleTragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

14/2/18

Homeless

In Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street

14/2/18

Pay

I'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

7/2/18

Socialist

The Socialist inbox

7/2/18

Cinema

Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

7/2/18

Revolution

Bernie's book shows need for workers' party

7/2/18

Students

GCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

7/2/18

NHS

Tragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

7/2/18

Sexism

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

31/1/18

Cricket

Capitalism v cricket

31/1/18

Film

Trump as Nixon: urgent questions about press freedom and the state

31/1/18

Sexism

Presidents Club sexism scandal: what you thought

24/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

24/1/18

Universal Credit

Universal credit: set up to fail

24/1/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

19/1/18

Carillion

Carillion and the construction industry

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999