05.03.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Presses President Trump to Rein in Offshoring and Bring Back American Call Center Jobs

Senators Call on President to Sign Executive Order Protecting American Call Center Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, joined her colleagues in pressing President Trump to sign an executive order protecting American call center jobs.

“Shipping call center jobs overseas is not just an economic problem it is a threat to the security of consumers’ personal data,” the Senators wrote. “There have been numerous troubling reports of fraud and the theft of sensitive personal information at foreign call centers. The lack of adequate security measures is another important reason to move call center jobs back to the U.S.”

The letter, led by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), also urges the President to support the bipartisan U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act that Senator Baldwin cosponsored to offer new accountability and guard against additional offshoring in Wisconsin. The bipartisan legislation would require that U.S. callers be told the location of the call center to which they are speaking; offer callers the opportunity to be connected to a U.S. based center if preferred; and make U.S. companies that off-shore their call center jobs from the U.S. ineligible for certain federal grants and taxpayer-funded loans.

A recent report by the Communication Workers of America and the Committee for Better Banks highlights how big banks have continued to send call center jobs overseas. The report details how these banks have recently laid off call center workers in the U.S. while maintaining and even growing their call center operations in other countries.

Senators Baldwin and Casey were joined by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in urging the White House to send a clear message to companies looking to outsource call center jobs.

In Wisconsin, Wells Fargo closed a call center in Milwaukee and outsourced 1,000 jobs to the Philippines in 2015. A December 2017 CNN article titled, “Why Wells Fargo could be one of tax reform’s big winners,” highlighted that Wells Fargo was not planning on rehiring American workers or revamping its offshoring practices, despite the windfall the company stands to gain due to the Republican tax bill. Since the Republican tax bill passed, Wells Fargo has announced $22.6 billion in stock buybacks, which largely benefit wealthy shareholders and corporate executives.

The full letter is available here and below. 

 

May 1, 2018

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500 

Dear Mr. President:

The offshoring of U.S. jobs to other countries continues to hurt American workers and communities. The offshoring problem is particularly pronounced among call center jobs. Many of us wrote to you last year urging you to take executive action to protect call centers and to help bring these family sustaining jobs back to the U.S. We would like to reiterate this call asking for executive action.

Shipping call center jobs overseas is not just an economic problem it is a threat to the security of consumers’ personal data. There have been numerous troubling reports of fraud and the theft of sensitive personal information at foreign call centers. The lack of adequate security measures is another important reason to move call center jobs back to the U.S.

A recent report by the Communication Workers of America and the Committee for Better Banks highlights how big banks have continued to send call center jobs overseas. The report details how these banks have recently laid off call center workers in the U.S. while maintaining and even growing their call center operations in other countries.

By issuing an Executive Order, you can take an immediate step to prevent federal government contracts from being awarded to companies that offshore U.S. call center jobs by utilizing call centers in foreign countries. Taxpayer funds should go to companies that hire American workers. We are all cosponsors of the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act which would address this problem legislatively by targeting federal grants and loans for U.S. companies that offshore call center jobs and by requiring call centers outside the U.S. to notify consumers they are speaking with someone at a foreign call center.

We urge you to take executive action to protect call center workers and to also support our efforts to pass the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act.