BPOs –   A Low Wage Industry In Jamaica

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We live a life of lies and deceit, that is the culture to an extent of our business sector and the Business process outsourcing industry (BPO).

Is just one industry that disrespects the laborious hours worked by young people.

Chairman Byles’ comment about the low paying industry which is BPO is one with merit. What Mr. Byles forgot to mention is that this industry not only employs underachievers but qualified  university graduates at low wages because of the high unemployment in the island.

The private sector can only employ perhaps maybe no more than 15  percent of persons leaving school including graduates of universities each year . The fact is we are not experiencing significant economic growth and investment is limited in Jamaica. Forget about the construction jobs- they are seasonal and in many cases rotating jobs.


The BPO Industry knows very well the firms cannot operate in the USA and other developed countries. Laws in these countries would not tolerate these low wages being paid to their citizens. But let’s analyse the sector. It is a fast growing sector in developing countries where English is the official language. It operates where government has liberalised the sector and where globalization has impacted.

However,  the sector makes no rational or comparable relationship between workers in developed countries and those in the so called “Third  World.” With a colonial overbearing character BPO will and seek to operate where wages are low and profits can be repatriated easily. With this in mind, can anyone point at a BPO which is paying workers more than $60, 000.00  per month?

I doubt it. Maybe with overtime they can make $80,000 per month. That makes the government a better paying sector than these private enterprises.

Incomes earned via BPOs do not provide the incentive for loyalty. Many of the university students at BPOs are living hand to mouth and can rarely pay their student loans. When they pay their student loans, they rarely have anything left to sustain themselves for the rest of the month.

Having spoken to several ex employees , it is apparent they are disgruntled and unhappy.  This country is not a welfare state and no body gives you anything so many at the entry level have no choice. The only winner in the BPO industry are the owners , the investors and the owners of big capital – the modern day “sweat shop”.

Those who get a little of the BPO pie are the managers such as The Human Resource Managers.

Mr. Byles has spoken his mind and was factual. This society needs to desist from its hypocrisy. We need frank and factual comments and opinions.


I am ,

Yours truly,

Winston Donald

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Winston Donald

My name is Winston Donald. I am currently completing a MA in Cultural Studies researching Street Art ( from a cultural studies perspective) I am Recruiting Officer and Enrollment Officer for University College of the Caribbean, New Kingston. I contribute to the Commonwealth Short StoryCompetition Columnist for the defunct Sunday Herald Newspaper Author on Marijuana : Export trade and Rural economics (manuscript being completed) Author on Rural Jamaican Cooking Creator of The Diaspora - Word Press blog Contributor to Sun Sentinel newspaper of South Florida Regular/Frequent contributor to the Gleaner and Observer newspaper