With more than 167,000 call center jobs in Ohio, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined call center workers in Dayton today to outline new legislation he is supporting that could help keep jobs in the U.S. by requiring companies to notify consumers that their calls are being transferred abroad.
"Most Ohioans that have had to call a major company for a service repair or to get an answer about their cable bill have ended up speaking with a worker in a different time zone, on a different continent," Brown said. "When companies send call center jobs overseas, they don't just frustrate consumers--they hurt our economy as well. With thousands of Ohioans looking for work, it just doesn't make sense to ship these jobs overseas. By requiring companies to disclose when their calls are being transferred abroad, businesses could be encouraged to keep their call centers jobs here in the United States.
"This bill will also stop giving American tax dollars to big businesses that ship call center jobs overseas. Why should we hand over federal grants or loans to companies that hand over American jobs to other countries?" Brown continued. "We should reward American workers and American companies that remain loyal to creating jobs in our communities."
Brown was joined by two AT&T call center workers, Pete Houvouras, secretary and treasurer of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Tomeka Cooley-Pettus, a member of CWA to discuss how this legislation could make it less likely that businesses would outsource their call center jobs overseas, as well as give consumers important information about the companies they patronize. According to a CWA analysis of 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, Ohio has at least 167,480 call center jobs.
Specifically, the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2012 would:
Require companies to disclose to callers when their calls are transferred abroad;
Make businesses that move call center jobs overseas ineligible for federal grants or loans;
Direct the Department of Labor to make a public list of such companies--
employers would remain on list for three years after each relocation; and
Require agencies, including Department of Defense, to give preference to U.S. employers that do not appear on the list.