CWA praises historic passage of New York call center legislation

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) today praised New York State legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo for the historic new law which will protect New York call center workers and state taxpayers by denying state grants, loans, and tax breaks to companies that move New York call center jobs out of the country. 

The New York State Call Center Jobs Act (S1826/A567), signed into law today by Governor Cuomo, states that any call center company with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent workers that has taken loans, grants, or tax breaks from New York State will forfeit those benefits if they move 30% of their jobs overseas. In addition, the New York Commissioner of Labor will establish and publicize a list of companies that engage in this behavior, and these companies will be negatively affected in any bid for future state call center work. Governor Cuomo's signing follows overwhelming and bipartisan support from the New York Assembly (130-18 vote in June 2019) and the State Senate (58-3 vote in March 2019).

"We applaud the Governor for taking action today to protect New York's call center workers," said Dennis Trainor, Vice President, CWA District 1. "And we also want to give a special thanks to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stuart Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and to our committed sponsors who fought for this bill, Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Tim Kennedy, for coming together to protect working families and communities across New York. Since 2006, New York has lost over 40,000 call center jobs. It is long past time New York stopped rewarding companies that send call center jobs overseas with taxpayer dollars."

New York's enactment of the new call center bill continues the recent momentum generated by both Republican and Democratic state legislatures on legislation combating call center offshoring. Since 2018, in addition to New York, Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, and Nevada have enacted anti-offshoring bills. Meanwhile, the California Assembly and Senate overwhelmingly passed the Protect Call Center Jobs Act of 2019 before Governor Gavin Newsom made the wrong call and vetoed the legislation. 

According to Hae-Lin Choi, CWA New York State Legislative and Political Director, "We thank Governor Cuomo, New York lawmakers, and especially the New York residents and affected workers who worked tirelessly to make today's bill signing happen. As many states get ready for their 2020 legislative sessions, we look forward to building on the bipartisan momentum on display in New York and elsewhere to stand up to companies intent on shipping good jobs overseas without accountability." 

"Today is a great day," said Brittni Everett, a call center worker from Albany. "Call center employees like me will no longer live in fear of our jobs being shipped overseas. The voices of New York workers drowned out those of the big corporations who have prioritized profits over people. I am so proud of our elected officials for standing up for call center workers who just want to be able to rely on their good, middle-class jobs. As a single mother, I know the importance of this legislation first hand and I know how it will personally affect me and my child."


CWA members worked hard to pass the New York call center bill, including lobbying, calling, and writing postcards to legislators, rallying, and holding press conferences to get the legislation over the finish line.

Links:

CWA Praises Historic Passage of New York Call Center Legislation (Jan. 2, 2020)