Less than a month after the U.S. House of representatives decided to not bring the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act to a vote, a similar bill was introduced into the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) yesterday introduced S.3402, a companion bill to the U.S. Call Center and Worker Protection Act in the U.S. Senate. Among other provisions, the legislation would ban companies that off shore American call center jobs from receiving federal loans, grants or subsidies for five years.
"Companies that outsource their call centers overseas shouldn't see the benefits of government grants and loans," Casey said in a statement. "Keeping call center jobs in Pennsylvania is good for our workers and our economy, and my bill will send a clear signal that outsourcing jobs will not be rewarded."
According to Casey's office, about 200,000 people in Pennsylvania work in the call center industry.
The bill, which also requires that a list of companies that send jobs off shore be made available to the public, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 3596) late last year and currently has more than 130 bi-partisan co-sponsors in that legislative body.
"We commend Senator Casey for standing up for good jobs and U.S. communities. This bill will reduce the incidence of outsourcing and help keep these family supporting jobs in the U.S. and in communities like Allentown, Pa., where T-Mobile USA recently shut down its call center," said Ron Collins, chief of staff at the Communications Workers of America, a labor union representing about 150,000 call center employees.
State-level legislative efforts have also been building with bi-partisan bills being introduced in Florida, Arizona and New Jersey, among other states.