Letter: Call center jobs are important

The Detroit News

Working people are tired of politicians who talk and talk about creating good jobs, but don’t do anything to make that happen.

We know that the rules are rigged against working families. That’s why some of the biggest and richest U.S. corporations can get away with sending good call center and technology jobs offshore. That’s been happening here in Michigan, and that’s why my union, the Communications Workers of America, and union members are fighting back.

CWA is urging Congress and Michigan elected officials to pass call center legislation to help keep good jobs in the U.S. and to stop rewarding companies for sending work overseas.

Michigan’s U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is a sponsor of the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that 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 who offshore their call center jobs from the U.S. ineligible for certain federal grants and taxpayer-funded loans.

A state version of the bill, House Bill 4988, just introduced this week by Kalamazoo State Rep. Jon Hoadley, is a good step toward protecting Michigan workers against the flood of good jobs going offshore.

Some of the biggest and most profitable corporations are sending call center and technology jobs offshore. Companies making over $1 billion in profits every month have been sending work to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Keeping good jobs in the U.S. and providing the quality service that customers pay for month after month should be standard operating procedure. Instead, too many companies are putting their corporate greed ahead of being responsible to workers, customers, and communities.

These greedy corporations not only send good jobs overseas, but they also put pressure on workers here at home to accept lower wages and cuts in benefits. Many corporations are happy to pit workers against each other, and to make U.S. workers compete with those in Asia and Latin America who might be making just a dollar an hour for a 12 hour shift.

U.S. workers shouldn’t have to compete with that level of workplace abuse. That’s why my union and other allies are calling out politicians who have made a lot of promises but have done nothing to bring back good jobs. It’s time for all elected leaders to do what it takes to keep good jobs here.

Working families want the freedom to be able to join together to actually get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We want President Donald Trump to sign an executive order that takes real action against offshoring. We want elected officials to support legislation that keeps good call center jobs here in the U.S. and looks out for customers.

Charles Daniels

president, CWA Local 4123