Democratic lawmakers in Ohio have introduced a new legislative bill that threatens to deny financial incentives and loans for companies that move call center jobs overseas.
The lawmakers say they are fed up with seeing companies shipping jobs overseas, and that all they can do to protect the jobs is to cut state grants.
“Protecting our own workers needs to be a priority for the state,” said Senator Lou Gentile in a statement posted on the senate’s site. “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to send jobs overseas.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 171,700 call center workers throughout the state. Since 2006, Ohio has lost 13,900 call center jobs, a decline of over 7.5%.
If passed, the law would require companies to repay all the incentives they received from the state. More interesting still, companies planning to move call-center jobs overseas should inform the authority 120 days in advance. Failing to notify may prompt the state to impose a fine, in addition to denying financial incentives.
“The key is to make sure these jobs stay in Ohio and this bill would incentivize employers to do just that,” said Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni.
The legislative bill also calls for a list of companies that relocate their customer service centers overseas. Overtime, say the lawmakers, the legislation will lead to creating more jobs in the state.
“Call center workers and consumers are rightfully concerned by the offshoring of call center jobs,” said Frank Mathews, Administrator Director with the Communications Workers of America. “In this digital world, calls can be rerouted anywhere simply by flipping a switch. This costs American jobs and allows our most private business, health and financial information to be shared with and possibly accessed by less than secure eyes, in another country.”