About 20 percent of workers at the Concentrix company, based in the Braga train station building, have been on strike since early Monday morning, where animosity led to the call of law enforcement officials.
Workers claim immediate integration of laid-off union leaders, monthly “no error” payment and refund “thousands of euros in outstanding premiums”.
Nuno Geraldes, head of the Call Center Workers Union (STCC), told O MINHO that PSP was called “after the company prevented a picket strike from exercising union activity in the company’s common areas,” something “is foreseen in the Portuguese constitution ”.
“There is a right to do trade unionism in this country, but as they wouldn’t let us in, we called the authorities,” he says.
PSP official source confirmed, O MINHO, the trip to the site but indicated that no one was identified, only raised the report of occurrence.
“They will knock on the bathroom doors after three minutes”
Nuno Geraldes also denounces “bullying” at work, giving the example of bosses, belonging to the temporary work companies Randstad and Manpowergroup. “They will knock on the bathroom doors after three minutes,” says the union leader, claiming that “when an employee takes longer in a call, due to customer issues, the bosses start knocking on the chairs so that the assistant disconnect”.
Geraldes, who was recently fired for, says, union activity, wants to be reinstated with other colleagues who have been suspended for the same reasons, namely Ângela Lima, Pedro Monteiro and Freddy Fernandez.
“There are disciplinary sanctions without disciplinary proceedings, there are workers who are sent on vacation without any explanation and then are not reinstated, all without explanation,” he says.
“They are forced to change their days off, they called the people who were missing today to join the strike to ask why they are not coming to work, thus conditioning trade union action,” he adds.
“At the peak of the protest, we had about 40 employees here, but most do not come for fear of reprisals, although they joined the strike,” he adds.
“Obey the law”
Geraldes wants to see the company “abide by the law”, stop “denying consecrated rights”, “pay salaries every month without error” and “end harassment and union harassment”.
It also calls for “transparency in the allocation of hours, fairness and concerted rotation with workers”, in addition to the rights of parenting, access to working time and the prior performance of procedures when disciplinary sanctions are applied.
The strike will be in effect until 20:30 this Monday.
“Error situations are immediately corrected,” says Randstad
Contacted by O MINHO, Randstad claims that “harassment of any kind is quickly repudiated and dealt with and scrupulously complying with the law”.
“In relation to the well-being of our people we have in partnership with the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon the largest study in the sector that allows us to identify risks, trends and behaviors so that we can act on improving the conditions of our employees”, points out .
Regarding payments, the company guarantees that the “strict and timely” compliance with the “legal obligations and in case of error situations are immediately corrected”.
Suspended for breaching confidentiality agreement
Regarding the preventive suspension of the employees concerned, Randstad says that it was “motivated by the breach of the duty of confidentiality to which the employees are obliged.”
“Employees were notified by email and registered letter. The reasons for the suspension are known to the workers involved and are in no way related to the union structure they are part of, ”he says.
“Randstad has begun an investigation into the investigation and confirmation of the facts leading to this suspension. The ongoing process is following the legal procedures, strictly fulfilling the duty to inform the current phase ”, says the company.
Randstad even says that “any accusation of persecution of these organizations is absolutely false.”
“Randstad bases its activity on compliance with the rules and laws in force and union activity is a legally established right, guaranteeing Randstad all the conditions for unions to exercise their activity,” he adds.
“The strike is a legitimate right of employees regardless of the nature of their employment relationship, and as an employer Randstad is fully available to hear employees and meet with the STCC – Call Center Workers’ Union, as indeed happening, ”he concludes.