Sherrod Brown introduces bill to keep call-center jobs in U.S.

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced legislation to keep call-center jobs in the United States.

“Most Americans want to support American jobs by buying American whenever they can and that includes the customer service they get from call centers,” said Brown, a Cleveland Democrat.

The U.S. lost 200,000 call-center jobs between 2006 and 2014, said Brown citing statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We want and need these good decent jobs in the U.S.,” said Renee Rouser of Youngstown, who has worked at an AT&T call center in the city for the past 13 years. “We want to put the money back into our economy. Instead, corporate greed is being put in front of responsible and professional work. We as the employees should not be competing against call centers located in the Philippines, Mexico and other areas.”

Brown’s bill, the U.S. Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act, would:

Give preference in federal contracts to companies that haven’t relocated call-center jobs overseas.

Require U.S. companies to identify the location of the call center and allow the customer to be transferred to a call center located in the U.S. if asked.

Require companies to notify the Department of Labor before they relocate call centers and create a public list of companies that outsource call-center jobs.

The list would be maintained by the DOL and be available for public reference, Brown said.

Any companies on the list would be ineligible for federal grants or loans, with an exception for national security or substantial job loss in the United States. Also, federal agencies would also be required to give preference to U.S. employers that do not appear on the list.

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