This week, legislation that would protect call center jobs in New Jersey took one step closer to becoming law. The New Jersey State Senate Labor Committee passed the “New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act”, advancing the bill to a Senate budget committee. CWA Local 1000 Verizon call center workers were present at the hearing to let committee members know that companies that offshore NJ jobs need to be held accountable for taking taxpayer dollars and then shipping jobs overseas.
The bill would create a list of New Jersey companies that move at least 30 percent of calls to overseas locations. Any company on this list, which would only apply to businesses employing more than 50 workers, would be ineligible to access to New Jersey taxpayer-funded state grants, loans, and other subsidies. The bill also would require that all customer service work done on behalf of the state is performed within the state. CWA members have been fighting to pass similar call center legislation at the federal level and in numerous states.
Call centers are an important economic lifeline for many communities in New Jersey and across the country. But thousands of call center workers have lost their jobs in recent years as companies have offshored customer service operations to cheaper markets overseas. This trend has harmed working families and communities while endangering consumer security and hurting customer service.