Police take home BPO workers stranded during curfew hours

Police take home BPO workers stranded during curfew hours

BY ONOME SIDO
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 03, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Several workers employed to a call centre in Montego Bay were left stranded in the resort city Wednesday night after they ended their shift during the curfew hours.

According to the narrator of a video being circulated on social media, about 9:00 pm after some workers finished their shift, they proceeded to downtown Montego Bay to secure transportation to go home; however, no transportation was available.

“Alright, so dis is mi stand, right, and not a vehicle in sight. It is 9 o' clock and only police mi see pon road… workers dem stuck a Bay [Montego Bay]. Di whole a wi deh a town can't reach a wi yard,” said the narrator.

When contacted yesterday, Gloria Henry, president of the Global Services Association of Jamaica, formerly the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, said she was not aware of the video.

She, however, confirmed that some call centre workers had transportation issues on Wednesday night.

“The buses which usually transport the workers had some challenges, and we had to call the Police High Command to intervene. Apparently, some of the police officers were not aware that BPO [business processing outsourcing] workers were exempted. Once we intervened, the situation was resolved,” Henry told the Jamaica Observer.

The video also highlighted workers being transported in the back of a police vehicle, which, according to the narrator, was taking them to their respective homes.

“Police haffi bring wi home. Van back mi deh go a mi yaad from work. This is serious, guys, very serious,” lamented the young woman.

Henry said a bulletin outlining the conditions of employment for the sector during the curfew was issued to all BPO centres which emphasised that they must be enforced.

Call centre workers are exempted under the curfew which took effect on 8:00 pm on Wednesday, provided that they have to report to work during the curfew hours.

More than 12,000 people are employed in the BPO sector in Montego Bay.


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