Taylor Nelson and Sofres (TNS) violates workers rights

First published: January 26, 2016

by Teddy Brul Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Approximately 235 social researchers were dismissed from the TNS (Taylor Nelson and Sofres) Philippines, a leading customized marketing research company, after they learned that their work will be rendered to another contractor doing marketing research and public surveys.

The management of TNS Philippines claimed that layoffs were at the directive of TNS Global based in London where they outsource all the works of their marketing research company from its various branches worldwide.

TNS is a partner of Kantar Media Philippines, one of the largest companies in the world to conduct insight, information and consultancy projects.

TNS is the leading political and social research unit in the world. With over 1,500 dedicated social researchers in more than 40 countries, TNS Political & Social is uniquely placed to conduct research on any social issue, in any environment.

The Center for People’s Media learned that the social researchers served as field personnel from five up to 30 years. Their work was to collect data on goods and merchandise based on the request of their client. They carried it through interviews, telephone interviews and other modes.

According to Jesus Duldalao, a TNS social researcher, they heard that their management is planning to pass all the research projects of their company to other agency.

Last June 23, the management initiated a one-on-one talk with their dismissed social researchers and offered them financial assistance whose value is based on the length of their service and they also presented the other agency where they can apply and continue their service.

The financial assistance offered to dismissed workers are P40,000 for 8-10 years of service; 11-P60,000 for 15 years; P80,000 for 16-20 years; P100,000 for 21-25 years; P120,000 for 26-30 years; and P140,000 for 31 years and above .

Most of the 235 workers took the offer while around 32 of them opposed it and filed a complaint of massive layoffs in the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. Their case is ongoing.

Duldulao said that their work goes on a project-to-project basis. They were continuously rehired for several and different projects although the company is conducting a continuous tracking of their client’s product covering one or five years of service.

He also stated that they have no particular vacation, holidays or overtime. “We must face the burden of meeting tight deadlines,” he added.

They were required to finish their surveys even in the middle of the night and submit their reports.

“Minsan nga pinapatay namin ang aming cellphone para hindi kami matawagan dahil lalo kaming natataranta dahil minamadali kaming makabalik sa opisina para mag-report kahit dis-oras na ng gabi”, (Sometimes we are strained from the pressure of our managers that’s why we sometimes shut-off our cellphone so that we cannot be forced to go back to our office for immediate submission of our reports even late at night), Duldalao added.

Each field interviewer received a meager budget as they spend on transportation, food and lodging in the place they go. “A measly 150 pesos from the fund is allocated for hotel accommodation when we go to the provinces. It was a big deficit that’s why we usually slept sometimes in barangay hall and sought refuge in the house of our respondents,” Duldalao pointed out.

According to Gloria Capulong , social researcher for 25 years, “We feel comforted to our work as a field interviewer because we reached different places especially in the rural areas with beautiful landscape. But the sad thing is the hardship we suffered like walking for hours in the mud and rocky road just to reach our interviewee.

Capulong said she suffered trauma from work, stating that while she was conducting a survey in a Muslim community (Metro Manila), she was pushed and locked in a house and beaten by those inside. She explained that her goal was only to conduct a survey for certain products. Her interrogators didn’t believe her.

Capulong cried during her ordeal and was nervous especially as she did not understand the conversation of her interrogators. She felt being suspected as government agent when she entered the area. She was detained for a few hours until a woman emerged and let her out of the house and let her escape. CPM

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