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US Anti-outsourcing Bill to Affect Offshore Call Centers

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, December 9, 2011 | Outsourcing News |

In an effort to bring jobs home, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) introduced the bipartisan bill that is set to reprimand US companies which are sending call center work offshore, making them ineligible for government-regulated benefits such as grants and loans. Aside from that, the US Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act mandates firms that are planning to outsource offshore to inform the Labor Department 120 prior to filing. Bishop added that the bill covers all industries.

The bill also states that call center agents will be required to reveal their location when asked and give customers the option for their calls to be transferred to a local representative.

It is a known fact that labor rates are lower in India and the Philippines. USA Today recently reported that the Philippines’ call center sector has overtaken India’s, although some call center jobs are seen to flow back into the US.

On behalf of 700,000 workers, 150,000 of whom are customer service representatives, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) strongly supports the call center bill. The union’s Chief of Staff, Ron Collins, said Americans are missing out on call center jobs due to offshoring and praised AT&T for bringing 5,000 jobs back home.

On the other hand, free-trade GOP members are not expected to support the said bill but due to incessant complaints from unhappy customers, majority of Republicans as well as Democrats would probably respond more positively with call center agents based in the US.


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