It was touted as a step towards giving the Shiv Sena a corporate image. Now, the call centre that the party launched before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls is facing a problem any corporate setup could.
Sources said 18 executives from the call centre refused to report to work and offered to resign alleging they were being harassed and their salaries were being delayed. The employees also met Rashmi Thackeray, wife of Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray.
Shailesh Patil, head of the Sena’s information technology and media division, refuted the allegations saying services of six executives had been terminated. Sources said problems surfaced last week when Patil allegedly reprimanded an employee.
“Such incidents are part of running a big set-up like a call center,” Patil said.
"We have 12 computers and do not require 18 people. A few executives were asked to leave and this will not affect work. Call the centre and check for yourself.”
A text message from the call centre, circulated on Tuesday evening, said talks about trouble at the centre were “rumours”. The message said the centre was “functioning perfectly”.
The Sena had become the state’s first political party to have a call centre. It was set up to get in touch with the common man who could call in with problems.
The helpline, 24222222, had 22 executives dressed in black T-shirts bearing the party’s logo took calls from people complaining about everything, from civic issues to pesky neighbours. Complaints were forwarded to local leaders on their mobile phones and callers were given feedback.