If you’ve had to call a major company for a service repair or to get an answer to a question about your cable bill, chances are you’ve probably spoken with a worker in a different time zone or on a different continent.
That’s because big companies have been shipping U.S. call center jobs overseas for years. But when these companies send call center jobs abroad, they don’t just frustrate consumers – they hurt our economy as well.
With so many unemployed citizens right here in the United States, it just doesn’t make sense to ship these jobs overseas.
According to an analysis conducted by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), there are at least 167,000 call center jobs in Ohio. We have an obligation to take care of American workers and American industry first. It’s commonsense, and it’s the best way to move our economy forward and reduce our deficit.
That’s why I’m supporting the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2012. This bill would help both American workers and consumers.
Consumers have the right to know where their call is being handled, just like consumers know the country-of-origin for products. That’s why this legislation would require companies to disclose to callers when their calls are transferred abroad.
This legislation 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?
By directing the Department of Labor to provide the public with a list of companies that shutter their doors in America to hang up their “open-for-business” signs overseas, this legislation will allow Americans to decide for themselves which companies will receive their business.
Finally, this legislation would require federal agencies – including the Department of Defense – to give preference to U.S. employers that remain open here at home.
We aren’t powerless when it comes to creating American jobs. And that’s what the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act of 2012 does. It’s an important and simple step that we can take to continue turning our economy around.
The stakes are high. We must do everything we can to support American workers.
Sherrod Brown is a United States Senator from Ohio.