President Trump’s Failure to Stop Call Center Job Offshoring Prompts Letter from Senator Bob Casey and Senate Democrats

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Washington, DC – A letter sent today by Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and nine other Democratic senators to President Trump calls for the President to take executive action and support legislation to help rein in offshoring and bring call center jobs back to the United States.

Senator Casey alerted President Trump to the need for action last year, but instead of working reduce offshoring, the Trump Administration backed provisions in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that provide incentives for corporations to send jobs overseas.

Many of the companies that are among the biggest beneficiaries of the Republican tax bill, including AT&T and Wells Fargo, have been closing American call centers and aggressively offshoring U.S. jobs, especially in the call center and customer service industry.

Senator Casey was joined by nine colleagues who also signed onto the new letter: Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

The new letter from Senator Casey and nine other Senate Democrats to President Trump, available online here, reads as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

The offshoring of U.S. jobs to other countries continues to hurt American workers and communities. The offshoring problem is particularly pronounced among call center jobs. Many of us wrote to you last year urging you to take executive action to protect call centers and to help bring these family sustaining jobs back to the U.S. We would like to reiterate this call asking for executive action.

Shipping call center jobs overseas is not just an economic problem it is a threat to the security of consumers’ personal data. There have been numerous troubling reports of fraud and the theft of sensitive personal information at foreign call centers. The lack of adequate security measures is another important reason to move call center jobs back to the U.S.

A recent report by the Communication Workers of America and the Committee for Better Banks highlights how big banks have continued to send call center jobs overseas. The report details how these banks have recently laid off call center workers in the U.S. while maintaining and even growing their call center operations in other countries.

By issuing an Executive Order, you can take an immediate step to prevent federal government contracts from being awarded to companies that offshore U.S. call center jobs by utilizing call centers in foreign countries. Taxpayer funds should go to companies that hire American workers. We are all cosponsors of the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act which would address this problem legislatively by targeting federal grants and loans for U.S. companies that offshore call center jobs and by requiring call centers outside the U.S. to notify consumers they are speaking with someone at a foreign call center.

We urge you to take executive action to protect call center workers and to also support our efforts to pass the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act.

CWA supports federal call center legislation, backed by each of the Senators signing onto today’s letter as well as by a bipartisan group in the House, that 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.

According to CWA Legislative Director Shane Larson, “Talk is cheap. President Trump promised to keep American jobs here, but has backed policies that threaten to offshore even more American jobs. It’s past time that he took real action to back up his rhetoric by signing an executive order and endorsing federal call center legislation. We thank Senator Casey and his colleagues for their continued leadership and understanding that it’s time for real action to rein in offshoring and stand up for American workers.”

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