Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced that the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, introduced in the House by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), first announced in 2011, with a companion Senate bill from Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), has reached more than 120 cosponsors in Congress — signaling a building wave of momentum for bringing back call center jobs in the U.S.
The bipartisan U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act would deter companies from shipping American jobs overseas and incentivize them to locate in the U.S., and create a public list of ‘bad actor’ companies who shipped all or most of their service work overseas. Being on the list would make these actors ineligible for certain federal grants or taxpayer-funded guaranteed loans. Read the Hill op-ed penned by Rep. David B. McKinley (R-W.VA) for more.
The legislation would also mandate that call centers overseas disclose their locations to customers and comply with consumers’ requests to be transferred to a service agent physically located in the U.S. if the customer prefers.
“Outsourcing of American jobs is a huge problem, we’ve seen tens of thousands of call center jobs moved offshore over the past decade. We simply should not be rewarding companies for moving overseas,” said Rep. McKinley. “Call centers are a major employer in the United States and protecting these jobs should be a top priority by Congress. Our bill, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, has a simple purpose: if you move call center jobs offshore, you will not receive federal funding. This should be common sense policy.”
“The U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act keeps good jobs here in the United States while providing more security to US consumers and their data,” said Rep. Pocan. “I’m proud to see that 120 of my colleagues agree that the federal government should not be in the business of outsourcing a domestic industry or putting American’s privacy and safety at risk.”
"Corporate interests must be held accountable for their promises to invest in our communities and create and keep jobs in the United States,” said Shane Larson, Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Government Affairs and Policy. “With Rep. McKinley and Pocan leading the way, CWA members are excited to see that more Members of Congress than ever are finally listening to workers' concerns about offshoring and joining the movement to do something about it. Together, we will protect jobs that are here in the U.S., ensure companies adhere to standards that empower all American workers, and stop the brazen exploitation of workers overseas.”
Between the years 2006 and 2014, the U.S. lost more than 200,000 call center jobs, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Recent years have seen massive offshoring of call center jobs to low-wage countries where companies can easily exploit workers, such as the Philippines, where 1.3 million workers in the industry now largely serve the U.S. market.