COLUMBUS – Today, Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D- Richmond Heights) and Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) announced the Call Center Consumer Protection Act, Senate Bill 156. This bill would incentivize call centers to keep their jobs in the state of Ohio instead of moving them overseas. Senators Yuko and Schiavoni were joined by House Representatives John Boccieri (D- Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D- Youngstown), as well as Frank Mathews, Administrative Director for District 4 of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and Marvin Thompson, a Dayton call center employee.

 “S.B. 156 is about keeping Ohio jobs in Ohio. Under this legislation, call centers will no longer be permitted to receive state aid if they choose to outsource jobs to other countries or states,” said Senator Yuko. “By not rewarding companies that are abandoning Ohio workers, we can give those state dollars to companies who employ our citizens. Ohio workers are not expendable and S.B. 156 reaffirms that fact.”

S.B. 156 would create a list of Ohio companies that send call center and customer service jobs to overseas locations. It would deny these companies access to taxpayers’ dollars in the form of grants and loan opportunities. The bill also would require that all customer service and call center work done on behalf of the state of Ohio is done within the state.

“When Ohio is facing an $800 million budget shortfall, taxpayers’ dollars should not be used to give grants and loans to companies that send Ohio jobs overseas,” said Senator Schiavoni. “This is a commonsense bill that protects families and workers here in Ohio.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 171,700 call center workers throughout the state in 2016. Since 2006, Ohio has lost 13,900 call center jobs – a decline of over 7.5 percent. 

“The Consumer Call Center Protection Act would benefit Ohio workers, consumers, and communities,” said Frank Mathews. “This bill would help revitalize the call center and customer service industry in our state and guard against Ohio taxpayers’ money going to companies determined to offshore jobs. CWA commends the leadership of Senator Yuko, Senator Schiavoni, Representative Boccieri, Representative Lepore-Hagan, Representative Rezabeck, and Representative Hughes for introducing this important legislation and calls on lawmakers of both parties to stand up for Ohio workers by supporting the Consumer Call Center Protection Act.”

A full copy of the bill language can be viewed here.

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