Monday, March 13, 2017

Proposed legislation could threaten call center industry

Call centers are big business in El Salvador employing thousands, many of whom are English-speaking Salvadorans deported from the US.

A bill recently introduced in the US Congress might threaten the growth of the call center industry, however:  

Introduced by Congressmen Gene Green from the Democratic Party and Republican David McKinley, the US Call Center and Consumer Protection Act would deter companies from shipping American jobs overseas and incentivise them to locate them in the US by creating a public list of “bad actors” consisting of those that shipped all or most of their service work overseas. 
“Being on the list would make these actors ineligible for federal grants or guaranteed loans, would require overseas call centres to disclose their locations to customers, and would require them to comply with US consumers’ request to be transferred to a service agent physically located in the US,” the two lawmakers said.
The measure is supported in the US by the Communication Workers of America union, and a version of it was first introduced in 2013.  An article about the bill in the periodical El Mundo stated that El Salvador based call centers had $80 million in sales in 2015.

There might be a political environment in the US where such a bill could now pass.   With president Trump's emphasis on bringing jobs back to the US from overseas, the call center bill would seem to be consistent with Trump's view of the world.   If so, one of the few growing sources of employment in El Salvador might be threatened.

- Hat tip to Fred for this topic.




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