The majority of Americans have experienced the nightmare of calling customer support and ending up speaking to someone they could not understand. The service they bought and used here in the United States led to an endless loop of going around and around with someone who did not grasp the problem they were desperately attempting to explain. After multiple transfers and dead ends, if they were lucky, they finally got to someone in America who apologized profusely and fixed their issue.
It is a story common as crabgrass. No one likes the time lost and the hassle endured from offshored customer support. We all would like to speak to someone working in the United States where our service is being provided.
If everyone is in agreement on this, then it begs the question, why is it happening?
Corporate Greed and a Rigged Tax System
Companies are offshoring and outsourcing these jobs to maximize their profits at the expense of American workers and American taxpayers. It’s decimating communities and destroying what was once a quality middle-class job that kept entire cities economically afloat.
Here are three reasons why we need National Call Center Legislation…Immediately.
#1 – Eliminating Jobs In The United States
The trend towards offshoring American service calls has been around for decades. Tax breaks and shady loopholes have rigged the playing field for corporations and incentivized sending jobs overseas. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the exploitation was taken even farther as it cut the corporate tax rates for offshore profits in half. The corporate tax rates in the U.S. were lowered from 35% to 21%, but the offshore rates were taken even farther to 10.5%.
Companies profiting from these anti-American rates are then able to reduce their tax responsibilities even further by filtering the money through countries like Ireland, the Netherlands, Jamaica and others that have even lower tax standards. These manipulations reduce the amount taxed to a level that makes it impossible for American workers to compete on a fair playing field. It also steals tax money that should rightfully be paid.
#2 –Compromising Your Personal Data
With identity theft already an alarming problem, and our world moving toward a virtual economy, stricter rules and regulations for how our personal information is stored and protected is a necessity. Having workers half a world away that operate outside of the purview of American laws on privacy is a ticking time bomb that at any moment could compromise identity information for millions of Americans. In the information age where countries are using virtual attacks to affect world politics a leak from these overseas locations could throw our lives into chaos.
Mega-corporations are choosing profits over people and profits over adequate security measures. When it potentially affects millions, that becomes a national security issue. National security issues require oversight at a federal level. We need protocols in place that protect all Americans, and ensure that companies which choose to shift that work overseas are not putting us in harm’s way.
#3 – Human Rights Do Not Stop At Our Borders
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 took drastic steps to improve the working lives of all Americans. It led to fair wages, working conditions, safety on the job and child labor protection that has benefited and helped grow the middle class. It created a legal shield that safeguarded American workers from manipulation by unchecked corporations. These companies have learned how to exploit that system anew, by moving their operations offshore.
Foreign centers with laborers making just a few dollars an hour and under horrendous working conditions are harming people in ways we as Americans deemed reprehensible over 80 years ago. Just because a worker is being taken advantage of in another country does not make it morally acceptable. We as Americans have the responsibility to demand that companies that operate and sell their products and services here continue to uphold our American values for treating workers.
What Can We Do To Make National Call Center Legislation A Reality?
States are already passing call center legislation. In March of 2019 the ‘New York State Call Center Jobs Act’ passed in the New York Senate. It would require a call center employer to notify the Department of Labor if they intend to relocate at least 30% of call volume in a year. Those companies would lose all grants, loans, tax benefits and state contracts. The more states that pass this legislation the easier it becomes for the next to be successful.
Regretfully there are many states with call center legislation that has been stalled for years or outright rejected by politicians who care more about catering to corporations than helping American workers. In 2017 Michigan State Representative Jon Hoadley introduced the ‘U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act’. The bill would have put provisions in place to protect jobs and not reward companies that close down centers. It did not pass and since then multiple call centers in Michigan have been shuttered and workers sent to the unemployment lines. This is not acceptable.
There are bills for national call center legislation pending that need to be pushed to the front of the line. If our elected leaders truly do care and want to fight for American workers and keeping jobs in the United States, they need speak out and demand that national call center legislation be implemented. They need to fix the tax loopholes that make it easy for corporations to hide profits offshore. They need the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 rates not to be only half when the profits are made outside of the United States.
If you agree with being American Workers First visit www.WhoIsMyRepresentative.com to find your congressional representative. Tell them that you support national call center legislation and you want them to make it a priority or you will vote for someone who will.
#OffshoreNoMore #StopOutsourcing #AmericanWorkersFirst