US Congress’s bill against outsourcing: Backlash to India

Washington, March 03: With an aim to restrict outsourcing of call centre jobs in order to provide employment to local Americans, a bipartisan Bill was on reintroduced in the United States Congress today to make companies that move call centres overseas ineligible for grants or guaranteed loans from the US government.

The move aimed at curbing the transfer of call centre jobs to nations like India.

The Bill was introduced by Congressmen Gene Green from the Democratic Party and Republican David McKinley.

The United States Call Center and Consumer Protection Act would discourage companies from transfer American jobs overseas and incentivise them to locate in the United States by creating a public list of “bad actors” consisting of those that transfer all or most of their service work overseas it said.

News reports citing the two lawmakers said the Bill will not offer federal grants or guaranteed loans to call centres outsourcing jobs outside the United States and will need overseas call centres to disclose their locations to customers.

“Being on the list would make these actors unqualified for federal grants or guaranteed loans, would require overseas call centres to disclose their locations to customers, and would need them to comply with United States consumers’ request to be transferred to a service agent physically located in the United States,”

 -Gene Green from the Democratic Party and David McKinley from Republican 

According to PTI legislation is similar to a bill initiated in 2013 that would have required revelation of a call centre location to consumers, along with the option to fetch to a domestic call centre.

Mr Gene Green said there are 54,000 call centre jobs in the Greater Houston metropolitan area alone and 2.5 million nationwide.

“It is important that US workers continue to have access to good service sector jobs and receive a livable wage,” Mr Gene Green added.

“Sadly, we have seen call centre jobs moved overseas to India, the Philippines, and other countries. This bipartisan legislation will protect call centre workers in Texas and throughout the United States, and American consumers from unfair treatment.”

-Mr Gene Green

For the last 10 Years, there has been a huge rise in companies relocating their call centres overseas where foreign workers are often exposed to poor labour conditions and paid lowest wages, the Congressmen said.

Meanwhile, communities across the US have committed millions in taxpayer dollars to fund incentives for companies to bring jobs to their neighbourhoods, but have been left empty-handed, the congress men observed.

“Our first priority in US Congress is safeguarding and creating US jobs,” said Republican Mr McKinley.

“Straight and simple, we should not be pleasing companies for moving jobs outbounds. This bill does not rule that companies keep call centres here in the United States, but simply says if you move call centre jobs to other countries, you don’t receive funding from the US government. This should be common sense,” McKinley said.