Workers Rise in US Against Offshoring of Jobs
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State Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, announced that he will introduce new legislation seeking to protect the interests of call center workers in Michigan. The proposed bill will require call center operators to give workers a notice of 30 days before layoffs or closure of the offices. It will also punish firms that move jobs offshore by rendering them ineligible for state grants and loans.
Hoadley described the US Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act at a rally held opposite the AT&T call center in Downtown Kalamazoo on August 27. The rally was part of a Midwest tour undertaken by the labour union, Communications Workers of America, to protest against President Donald Trump’s failure to keep his promises of protecting the jobs of Americans, and the continuing practice of companies to offshore jobs to countries such as India and the Philippines, that have lower wage policies.
“We’re not going to pad the pockets of corporations that take our jobs and send them overseas,” Hoadley said at the event, MLive reported. “This means the end of sudden pink slips; this means the end of the sudden scramble that families have to deal with to figure out where they are going to get their health insurance next, and the end of uncertainty so families have a chance to figure out how they are going to provide for themselves,” he added.
The publication also quoted AT&T call center employees as saying that customer support jobs are sent to other countries very frequently, even though language problems and lack of adequate training of foreign employees makes things difficult for customers. Sue Mure and John Wroe, two AT&T workers, told MLive that all this translates to American workers losing their jobs because companies prefer cheaper labour abroad.
“I know too many people (who) have lost their jobs and are out of work,” Mure told the publication. “Those of us still fortunate enough to still clock in every day always wonder if we’re next. We wake up every day wondering ‘is this our last day?'”
The rally was the fourth stop on the Midwest tour covering Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.