Almost 200,000 Pennsylvanians Work In Call Centers -- Outsourcing Trend Endangers Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced legislation to make businesses that move call center jobs overseas ineligible for federal funding such as grants or loans to protect nearly 200,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.
Thousands of call center jobs have been relocated overseas. Senator Casey’s legislation will fight this trend by preventing companies from taking taxpayer money only to turn around and cut jobs in the United States.
“Companies that outsource their call centers overseas shouldn’t see the benefits of government grants and loans,” Senator Casey said. “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.”
Specifically, Senator Casey’s bill would:
- Make businesses that move call center jobs overseas ineligible for federal grants or loans;
- Direct the Department of Labor to make a public list of such companies; Employers remain on list for three years after each relocation; and,
- Require agencies, including Department of Defense, to give preference to U.S. employers that do not appear on the list.
Call centers are an important source of jobs all across Pennsylvania, and the legislation that Senator Casey introduced today adds to his long record of fighting against the outsourcing of American jobs. He opposed recent free trade agreements that could put Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs at risk, pushed legislation that has passed the Senate to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation that puts American businesses at a disadvantage, and championed Trade Adjustment Assistance to help workers who lost their jobs due to unfair foreign trade gain skills to find new work.
Below is data by county on the number of workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign competition:
FY 2011 Trade Adjustment Assistance Program Statistics
Table 1 shows the number of petitions and workers certified nationwide broken down by sector.
Table 2 shows the number of petitions and workers certified in Pennsylvania broken down by county.
Each petition represents a group of workers who have petitioned the Department of Labor to establish that foreign trade contributed to their job loss. Once the Department of Labor has certified the group’s petition, the individual workers apply for TAA benefits at a local One-Stop Career Center.