Don’t sweat the sweatshops

Are you using sweatshop labor

A recent Washington Post article drew negative attention to the role of overseas workers in the Philippines being used to tag AI metadata, with a company using ‘sweatshop’ style setups to either underpay or scam workers out of their earnings altogether

Bad actors doing bad things

Bad employers acting in bad faith such as these…they are everywhere.

But one rotten apple doesn’t spoil the whole barrel.

The vast majority of companies that offer business process outsourcing (BPO) are providing a vital opportunity to workers who might otherwise find themselves in markets where, without the digital economy, they would be unable to survive, much less compete.

The question then becomes; how do you avoid sweatshop accusations in an ever-changing global marketplace?

Bad actors doing bad things

PPP – The global equalizer

A dollar here is not necessarily worth a dollar there; anyone who has paid for table service in Las Vegas can tell you that much.

Consider what $500 a month gets you in America. Unless you’re a fan of Gary, Indiana, probably not a whole lot.

But for countries such as the Philippines, $500 a month is more than a liveable wage, it allows many employees, especially those in the BPO industry, to have a comfortable life.

It’s all relative

Sure, $4 an hour might not seem like much. But compared to factory or literal (rice) field labor paying even a fraction of this, it’s a highly desirable alternative in many lower income countries.

This is the strength of purchasing power parity (PPP). It allows higher cost markets to tap into lower cost markets, providing a mutually beneficial solution for both parties.

It’s all relative

Ethics are everything

It goes without saying that maintaining rigid ethical standards is a driving factor within the outsourcing business. 

But standards differ. A downtown Manhattan office. A factory in Indiana. A call center in the Philippines.

Different standards, different norms, different expectations.

With the current gold rush of AI, it becomes all the more critical that workers, whether carrying out microtasking or employed in full time positions, are looked after and treated fairly.

That’s where due diligence comes in.

Your diligent duty

Do your research, as the online masses are fond of saying, or better yet partner with companies who already have a proven track record in ethical behavior expertise within the BPO marketplace.

The digital revolution we find ourselves in, where the marketplace is growing ever more accessible, shouldn’t ever be about exploitation. 

Creating opportunities that uplift and empower workers, no matter where they might be located around the world? That’s the power of global employment.

It offers a win-win opportunity for all participants.

The question for your business

Are you doing your part?

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the average all-in employment costs in the
Philippines are typically 70% less than its
Western counterparts

Philippines United Kingdom Australia United States
Software Developer
$7,221
$39,913
$62,653
$81,994
HR Manager
$9,506
$46,669
$66,518
$78,007
Team Leader
$7,152
$31,174
$45,428
$75,823
Accountant
$5,959
$58,479
$67,190
$72,923
Copy Writer
$4,767
$52,088
$56,600
$62,653
Customer Service
$3,337
$22,137
$29,717
$35,275
Virtual Assistance
$2,285
$39,066
$42,240
$31,797
Select a role to view salaries
Philippines $7,221
United Kingdom $39,913
Australia $62,653
United States $81,994

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,300+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.