The "polling" (use the term polling with a grain of salt people) masquerade as a legitamete polling company. The person receiving the call is not told the caller is working for a political party. Elections BC states that this type of activity would be classed as advertsing if done during an election. Read more here.
Today the Straight is reporting another new developing voter contact scandal for the BC Liberals. The scandal is not so much in the voter contact but in the way the employees are being treated according to sources previously employed by Total Impact.
The Straight exposes the BC Liberals have contracted with people well known in BC Liberal backrooms to call voters in BC.
"Total Impact Communications Incorporated, owned at least in part by J.P. Shason, a long-time financial and political supporter and a personal friend of Premier Gordon Campbell. Shason is listed as the only director and officer for the company in corporate records." - The StraightJ.P. Shason was contracted by the BC Liberals to produce a controversial mail out from the Campbell Liberals using Legislative funds prior to the last election. The contract was for over $700,000.00 of taxpayer money.
Here is what The Straight has to say about the working conditions the BC Liberal's contractor subjects its workers too ...
Read more of Bill Tieleman's report at The Straight. The Straight reports that they will have more on this developing scandal next week.
"According to the discontented callers, 80 phoners work daily at Total Impact for $9 an hour in four-hour shifts in two “crap hole” rooms nicknamed “Echo” and “Foxtrot”. In total, about 200 to 300 individual callers are employed part-time and full-time and turnover is high. The phone room uses an expensive “predictive dialer” to maximize calling efficiency, but the computers being used to input the data are in poor condition and running on Windows 98 operating systems.
Total Impact may be in violation of government taxation and employment regulations because its callers, according to the sources, are told by the company that they are “independent contractors” and, therefore, no employment-insurance premiums, Canada Pension Plan or Workers Compensation Board contributions, or taxes are deducted from their paycheques.
Former B.C. Employment Standards Branch regional director Dave Ages told the straight thathaving done hundreds of investigations on independent contractors, there seems no doubt the phone-room callers are actually employees.
“From what you’ve told me and knowing about boiler-room operations, there’s no question they are employees, not independent contractors,” Ages said, adding that the phone-room workers are being denied the four-percent vacation pay that employees are entitled to, as well as possibly missing statutory holidays and overtime. "
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