Interesting new bill before the house

Enjay

New Member
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/07/overseas-call-centers-outsourcing-bill_n_1135147.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

I'm not quite sure that I like the gov getting getting so involved in the day to day operations of a company that they dictate what the employees must say on the phone, but at the same time I can't really see another way for them to get the companies back to employing American workers on American soil.

WASHINGTON -- Saying they hope to stem the tide of jobs heading overseas, legislators introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday in the House that would punish American corporations for offshoring their telephone call centers, making such companies ineligible for grants or guaranteed loans from the federal government.

Introduced by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), the protectionist legislation would also put some aggressive mandates on call-center operations. Not only would customer service representatives working overseas for U.S. corporations have to disclose their locations upon request, they would also have to offer callers the option of being transferred to call centers back in America.

"Outsourcing is one of the scourges of our economy and one of the reasons we are struggling to knock down the unemployment rate and reduce the number of Americans who are out of work," Bishop said in a conference call with reporters. "We can't prohibit it, but we can certainly discourage it."

Although some call-center jobs have trickled back into the U.S. in recent years, the long-term trend has shown thousands of American-based customer service positions being outsourced to India and the Philippines, where workers come considerably cheaper. The Philippines' call-center industry recently surpassed India's as the largest in the world, according to a report in USA Today .

The call-center bill has strong backing from the Communications Workers of America, a union representing 700,000 workers, more than 150,000 of whom are customer service reps. Ron Collins, CWA's chief of staff, said that Americans have been losing decent-paying call-center jobs so that large corporations can save on labor costs. He praised AT&T for its decision to bring 5,000 customer service jobs back to the U.S. as part of its merger with T-Mobile.

"When I talk about this, I talk about it from experience," said Collins, a former Verizon call-center worker. "This bill is a very important step forward -- for jobs, for workers and for customers."

In addition to scuttling any grants or guaranteed loans for a period of five years, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act would require that companies that are about to offshore call-center jobs notify the Labor Department 120 days before they do so. The companies would then be put on a public list. Bishop said the law would apply to businesses in all industries.

Such a bill is unlikely to garner strong support from anti-protectionist, free-trade GOP members of Congress, but the inclusion of the call-center rules adds an interesting wrinkle. Given the widespread frustration of customers who end up on long calls with agents overseas, plenty of constituents, Republican and Democrat alike, would probably appreciate the option of dealing more regularly with customer service reps based in America.

"With Rep. McKinley as my primary Republican co-sponsor, I'm very hopeful he can bring a good number of his colleagues to the table," Bishop said. "It's hard to defend the practice. It's hard to say we would rather employ someone in the Philippines than in the U.S."

To bolster their case, the CWA said it plans to release a report next week that shows that consumer fraud and identity theft is higher at call centers abroad than in the U.S.
 

bigfutz

Active Member
Don't get me started on this. You can't fix the problems caused by big government with more government. What drives these companies offshore is our government choking the free market: taxes, regulations, minimum wage, EPA, FDA, OSHA, and did I mention taxes? And why are they targeting call centers? What about all of the manufacturing that has been driven offshore? I don't see anyone penalizing Wal Mart for selling a bunch of product imported from China? As much as I hate the offshore call centers, this sort of thing is just another nail in the coffin of the American company. Keep it ip and the government will run out of American companies to "punish." Maybe we should bring back trade tariffs in lieu of corporate taxes, making those imported products cost the same as Made in the USA. At least penalize those countries who don't hold their manufacturers to the high standards we do.
 

Black Widow

New Member
I have to agree - it is nice on paper to say that this would bring jobs back - but it also would drive prices through the roof in an already poor economy. I know several small business owners whom have been shut down thanks to red tape and other givernmental nonsense in the past few years. We need LESS governement in EVERYTHING these days - and if that does not happen sooner rather then later, well... hope everyton has there zombie plan ready to go...
 
WASHINGTON -- Saying they hope to stem the tide of jobs heading overseas, legislators introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday in the House that would punish American corporations for offshoring their telephone call centers, making such companies ineligible for grants or guaranteed loans from the federal government.
This part I can get behind. Send jobs offshore (any jobs, not just call center jobs) and lose your eligibility for grants and loans. The rest is big government just being big government.
 

PCShogun

Member
What needs to be done is to eliminate the benefits that made it attractive to move the jobs overseas in the first place.

If the company is in business in America, it should pay payroll taxes on all of its employees employed overseas. If they are contractors, hired to bypass the cost of benefits and taxes, then require that those contractors be paid a similar wage as those in America. Why is it wrong to pay an American $5 an hour or less, yet perfectly acceptable to pay some overseas contractor $5 or less per hour? If those contractors came to the U.S., would they not be required to pay them minimum wage?

Corporations are shifting profits over seas and claiming a loss in the United States. Then they get write offs that entitle them to U.S. TAX REFUNDS, and yet they made billions overseas where none of it is taxed in the U.S.

Sorry, stepping off my soap box.
 
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