The Right-to-Work for crumbs
By Kevin Palmer
In a Right-to-Work state like Georgia, what does hiring 500 employees really mean? Without union collective bargaining it means the employer has the right to work over employees by paying a nonliving wage. According to an Augusta Chronicle article titled, Sitel to hire 500 for Augusta call center, “The Sitel Group on Wednesday [July 11, 2018] said it plans to hire 500 full-time employees at its Augusta call center.” Also, “The Company said the new members would support one of the company’s largest retail clients – a multi-billion global wholesale leader.”
Moreover, in a prepared statement, Sitel Site Director Robbie Jalbert said, “This is an exciting time for our site as we welcome a world-class wholesale leader and bring on high-performing agents who can help resolve customer needs and deliver memorable experiences. We want to bring on 500 talented individuals with a passion for customer service to support the new program.” Sounds great for the employer, but what’s in it for the employee?
According to Glassdoor.com, a Customer Service Representative earns an average $10 per hour. According to the Economic Policy Institute, that is nowhere near the $16.65 hourly wage required for an adult with no children to attain a modest yet adequate standard of living in Augusta, GA. In a Right-to-Work state, powerful billion-dollar employers expect powerless employees to feel thankful and blessed to receive wages well below what is needed to survive.
That is why for the average Augusta employee J-O-B means just over broke.