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UNISON - the UK's biggest trade union with 1.3m members - reckons call centres are "bad for your income and bad for your health".

North-west regional delegate Shirley Vickery told a conference this week that around 400,000 people work in call centres in the UK, and up to half of those jobs could be shunted overseas by 2008.

Workers are stressed out worrying about potential job losses, but they're also getting worked up becase of the jobs they do.

"While job losses are bad news for workers, excessive stress levels in some centres made some staff so miserable they couldn't bear to go back to work," said Vickery.

UNISON has pledged to carry on investigating the role of call centres and their impact on the health of workers. In particular, it wants to examine sickness and stress levels within call centres and flag any areas of concern with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). ®

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