The Republican leadership in Congress earlier this week decided not to bring the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act to a vote. In so doing, they just might have killed the bill, which was first proposed by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Dave McKinley (R-W.V.) back in December. While some argued that the failure to advance the bill was not surprising, I, for one, thought the bill was on its way. It seemed to be building steam in Congress, with more than 100 co-sponsors signed on in a few months. A number of state governments also began to look at similar legislation on a local level.
I, for one, hope this is not the end of the legislation, or the discussions that it spawned. I hope Bishop will reintroduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in the fall. Certainly something needs to be done to restore at least some of the more than 500,000 U.S. call center jobs that have been shipped overseas in the past six years.
Unfortunately, more companies seem to be choosing the offshoring option as they look to cut costs in this era of corporate belt-tightening. I get at least one press release or statement a week about a company closing U.S. call centers or setting up shop in India, the Philippines, Latin America, or some other foreign land. If they really want to save costs, I would challenge them to hire home-based agents right here on American soil.