Establishing a cooperative for call center agents appears incompatible as the primary targets of any member-owner and member-controlled association are aimed at serving the poorer sections of society. It is easy to discount the BPO community as employees in the industry purportedly earn higher despite their limited skills and are reported to receive far more benefits and incentives than the average worker.
Placated posters always contain happy workers, generous perks and an unmatched work environment, veiling any doubt that behind the scenes looms an unresolved dilemma.
Trapped in an impoverished mindset
Far greater challenges await those coming from the poor sector, and many will not make it far due to the lack of quality education, having more dependents and inaccessibility to skills empowerment. Stuck with less qualified role models, destructive traits are helplessly learned that prevent many from truly escaping poverty such as not planning ahead, constantly living in the moment, fear of rejection and lack of belief in one's ability to initiate real change.
Another impacting factor has been attributed to the change in personality brought about by higher income and the new environment. Choices have been aligned with the dictates of impulsivity as opposed to practical necessity where living paycheck to paycheck, zero savings and relying heavily on debt to sustain a spiraling lifestyle have become the norm.
This cycle of poverty is likely to continue until outside factors intervene.
Investing in oneself by joining a Cooperative
The first cooperative was created in 1844 to combat the rising poverty caused by job loss due to the introduction of machines during the industrial revolution. Poor tradesmen decided to band together to create a store for members to purchase food they could not otherwise afford. It was there the Rochdale principles were formed, a set of ideals that mandated an open and voluntary membership for the organization where members could use their services while cooperating together to better their lives and community.
The Philippine Call Center Credit cooperative established by Accentline in 2019 was designed to offer thrift and savings mobilization with the intention of elevating the lives of its agents. It was designed to educate Accentline employees on the value of creating a savings account and investing in the future. Its goal is to empower call center agents into responsible member-owners through various trainings and skills development aimed at improving their living standards.
The cooperative continues to champion the empowerment of its elected officers by being more involved in the organization and inspiring others to take a leap for the better.