Aug 23, 2012
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey teams up with former T-Mobile employee Barry Lagler, Jr., to promote call center legislation.
Below: Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown holds a town hall meeting with members of CWA Local 4309 in Cleveland.
Sens. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) used their August recess to advocate keeping good call center jobs in the United States.
Both Senators, who face re-election in November, took the issue to the stump this week, promoting the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2012, which would make businesses that ship call center jobs overseas ineligible for federal grants or loans. It would require companies to disclose when their calls are being transferred abroad and give consumers the right to talk to a U.S.-based operator. Tell your senators to support the bill by signing this petition.
"There is no reason an issue like this shouldn't be bipartisan," said Casey, speaking at the Lehigh County Labor Council offices, according to The Express-Times. "It's not a Democratic or a Republican issue. This is a workers' issue. It's an American issue."
Casey, who introduced the bill, stood next to former T-Mobile USA employee Barry Lagler, Jr., who lost his technical support job after T-Mobile closed its Allentown call center. The facility had employed 605 workers.
"Thank God for CWA," said Lagler, explaining how CWA had petitioned the Labor Department for Trade Adjustment Assistance for the displaced workers. "Some of these folks had babies. Others bought a house. Now these people have hope for the future."
Brown, co-sponsor of the bill, joined CWA members in Cleveland to discuss the legislation this week.
"Most Ohioans who 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," said Brown, according to The Hill. "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."
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Ohio has at least 167,480 call center jobs.