United Steelworkers (USW) learned that call centre workers across Canada – unionized and non-unionized – were the victims of regular, extreme verbal abuse by customers.
Hang Up on Abuse played into the audience’s presumed dislike of call centre workers—then turned that on its head with shocking stories of abuse.
Our campaign exploded with coast-to-coast media coverage and sparked a national dialogue on the abuse of call centre workers. It also led to non-unionized call centre workers reaching out to USW about organizing their workplaces.
Through member outreach, United Steelworkers (USW) learned that call centre workers across Canada – unionized and non-unionized – were the victims of shockingly regular and often extreme verbal abuse by customers. Worse, it was clear that their employers’ “no hang up” policies were fueling much of this abuse, as workers were not allowed to hang up no matter what was said to them. Our goal for this campaign was to reduce the extreme and frequent abuse of call centre workers in Canada and make everyday Canadians more compassionate in their dealings with call centre workers. In addition it was important to force Canadian companies to adopt Hang Up On Abuse policies, in particular, to allow workers to hang up on abusive customers.