Legislation Bans Federal Loans and Grants to Companies Taking Call Center Jobs Overseas
Call Center Employees Would Also Have to Disclose Their Location to Consumers, Offer Transfer to U.S. Based Center
Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, December 7, 2011 – The Communications Workers of America is strongly backing new, bi-partisan legislation introduced in the House of Representatives today that would ban federal grants and loans to corporations who move U.S. call center jobs overseas. CWA represents 700,000 workers in telecommunications and other sectors; more than 150,000 are customer service professionals.
The bill also would require that call center employees disclose their location to consumers, and if foreign-based, offer the consumer the opportunity to be directed back to a call center in the United States.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Tim Bishop (D NY-1) with a list of co-sponsors that includes Rep. David McKinley (R WV- 1) would require the U.S. Department of Labor to catalogue firms moving call center jobs overseas, thus making them ineligible for any direct or indirect federal loans or loan guarantees for five years.
“It’s common sense that we should not be rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas while millions of qualified Americans are looking for work,” Congressman Bishop said. “Taxpayer dollars should only be used to incentivize good corporate citizens who create American jobs.”
Rep. McKinley added his support; “This is a common sense jobs bill that will protect American workers and consumers,” Rep. McKinley said. “Our taxpayers should not be financing those who send our jobs overseas.”
“Americans are fed up with good-paying family supporting call center jobs here in the United States being shipped overseas so the one percent can make a little extra money,” said CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins. This legislation does not prevent them from moving if they want, but it prevents them from gaining access to our tax dollars while they do so.”
Collins, who began his career in a U.S.-based Verizon call center, said CWA members across the country will be mobilizing support for the legislation in individual states and Congressional Districts.
“We will go door to door to reinforce to members of Congress that this is a bill their constituents want and need,” Collins said. “We appreciate Representatives Bishop, McKinley and all the members of Congress who are supporting this important legislation.”