Save New York Call Center Jobs Act

Date: 2012

A.9809 (Jeffries)

S.6918 (Kennedy)

 

MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION

 

Unshackle Upstate, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from Upstate New York, opposes this legislation.

 

This bill would penalize companies that relocate their call centers from New York State to a foreign country by making them ineligible for “any direct or indirect state grants, state guaranteed loans, tax benefits or other financial governmental support.” The bill would also impose penalties of up to $10,000 per day on companies that relocate call center jobs without notifying the state Department of Labor.

 

We urge the Legislature to reject this ill-conceived measure, which is being advanced by a special interest group, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).  Unfortunately, CWA’s only concern is with ensuring state-guaranteed job security for their members, not providing services or value to consumers or the public. 

 

It is also worth noting that CWA has agreed to contracts that permit such outsourcing.  We strenuously object to any legislation that would grant a union benefits through statute that they were unable to achieve at the bargaining table.

 

Protectionist bills, such as this one, are “penny-wise, pound foolish.”  While enactment of this bill law might prevent some existing jobs in New York State from being moved, it will have a number of adverse long-term impacts. 

 

First, it will serve as a major disincentive to any company looking to bring new call center jobs to New York State.  Second, it will undermine the ability of companies that do maintain call center jobs in New York State to compete in the global economy.

 

While CWA is looking to target one particular company with this legislation, the adverse impacts of this bill will affect many business sectors throughout the state, including manufacturing, insurance, financial services and retail, among others.

 

If New York State is going to be viewed as being “Open for Business,” the Legislature should not be approving legislation such as this one that will add to the already high costs and regulatory burdens faced by companies trying to do business in New York State. 

 

Unshackle Upstate strongly urges lawmakers to reject this legislation.