It's bad enough that big bank CEOs and large shareholders are getting billions of dollars from the Republican corporate tax cut. Now, a new report from CWA and the Committee for Better Banks shows that those same banks have been aggressively laying off American workers and offshoring jobs – especially in the call center and customer service industry – to low-wage countries. Even worse, the tax bill contains incentives that will encourage even more offshoring.
"We are releasing this report to start a conversation with the public, in Congress, and in the political arena about how the big Wall Street banks like Wells Fargo are pocketing the money from the tax scam while destroying thousands and thousands of American jobs and potentially jeopardizing individuals' personal data by shipping these jobs overseas," said CWA President Chris Shelton.
Michael Lewis, a former worker at an American Express call center in Phoenix, Ariz., and Pam Wynn, a former Bank of America call center worker in Cleveland, Ohio, joined President Shelton and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown on a press call to discuss what happened when their jobs were sent overseas. American Express sent Lewis to India where he was forced to train his replacement. "When I returned from India, several whole floors of the center were called in, team by team, and fired," Lewis reported.
It's clear that banks and other employers will continue to send jobs overseas unless we take action. That's why CWA members are fighting for federal and state call center bills. The federal call center legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Brown in the Senate, would add new accountability and transparency to the offshoring process and make U.S. companies that offshore their call center jobs ineligible for certain taxpayer funded grants and loans. In addition, the bill would give U.S. consumers a right to know where they are calling and to be transferred to a U.S.-based location.
"We need to change how we think about work and how we think about our economy in this country," said Senator Brown. "So many companies wouldn't be able to function without a good, strong customer service staff. Workers like Ms. Wynn and Mr. Lewis contribute to their businesses and bring ideas to work to make it better. We need to value their contributions – not end their careers and ship their jobs overseas. Thanks for speaking out, and thanks to CWA for making such a difference in so many people's lives. What you do really matters."