International

Bill against outsourcing of call centre jobs gets 106 co-sponsors

Firms that move call centre jobs overseas will become ineligible for federal loans

A Congressional Bill that bars U.S. companies outsourcing call centre jobs from receiving federal grants and loans now has over 100 co-sponsors, its promoter has said.

The U.S. Call Centre and Consumer Protection Act (HR 3596), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Tim Bishop, now has as many as 106 lawmakers as its co-sponsors.

In a statement, Mr. Bishop hoped this would compel a hearing on the legislation in the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The U.S Call Centre and Consumer Protection Act, if passed by the Congress and signed into law, would require the U.S. Department of Labour to track firms that move call centre jobs overseas; the firms would then become ineligible for any direct or indirect federal loans or loan guarantees for five years.

“The provision is partially a response to the practice of companies taking millions in incentives from local taxpayers to open call centres in the U.S, only to off-shore their operations a short time later and leave local communities devastated and still paying the bill,” Mr. Bishop said.

The Bill also requires overseas call centre employees to disclose their location to U.S. consumers and gives customers the right to be transferred to a U.S.-based call centre upon request.

“Recent reports of theft and misuse of sensitive information from the British and Australian customers of the Asian call centres are deeply disturbing, and it is impossible to believe that the financial and medical information of Americans has not been similarly compromised,” Mr. Bishop said.

“It is clear that overseas call centres simply cannot provide the same level of security for sensitive personal data as facilities in the U.S., and Americans should be guaranteed the option of a domestic call centre to conduct their business. Taxpayer dollars should not be supporting companies that choose protecting their bottom line over protecting their customers,” the Congressman said.

“Furthermore, it is important that we do all we can to preserve American jobs and prevent them from moving overseas.”



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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:46:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bill-against-outsourcing-of-call-centre-jobs-gets-106-cosponsors/article3312165.ece

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