FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2019
Contact: Kenneth Londono, firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-335-0420
ALBANY, NY – A coalition of community organizations, labor groups and civic leaders from across the state joined the Communications Workers of America to applaud the Assembly for passing legislation that would protect New York call center jobs by denying tax breaks to companies that move jobs out of state. The bill passed the Assembly 93 to 19. The bill passed the State Senate in March on a bipartisan 58-3 vote.
The bill, New York State Call Center Jobs Act, would impact call center employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent workers. Employers, like AT&T and others, would be required to notify the Department of Labor if they intend to relocate at least 30% of call volume in a year. Those companies would lose all grants, loans, tax benefits and state contracts. The bill would also ensure that all state business-related call center work is performed by New York State companies.
“We applaud the Assembly and Senate for coming together in a bi-partisan fashion to protect families and communities across New York, said Dennis Trainor, Vice President CWA District 1. “It is long past time New York stopped rewarding companies that send call center jobs overseas with taxpayer dollars in the form of state contracts or tax breaks. The Trump tax plan incentivized sending good jobs overseas, so this legislation is more critical than ever. Now it’s time for the Governor to sign the bill and join other states taking similar action across the country.
Last year the bill passed in the Assembly and was supported by a majority of State Senators. The Senate bill primary sponsor is Senator Tim Kennedy and in the Assembly, it is Linda Rosenthal.
“New York call center employers are continuing to send good, middle-class jobs out of our state-- but that ends today. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in passing this critical legislation that will keep jobs local and repair communities all over the state. It’s time we help hardworking New Yorkers who have been hurt by these corporate incentives that encourage companies to ship jobs out of our state. Finally, call center workers will be protected in New York,” said Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal.
“The Assembly's passage of the “Save New York Jobs Act” is another victory for hardworking men and women in New York State, and this critical bill now moves to the Governor's desk," said Senator Tim Kennedy. “As a sponsor of this bill for years, I've been proud to stand with CWA leadership and our brothers and sisters in labor to ensure New York taxpayers are not left footing the bill when corporations outsource jobs overseas after exploiting state contracts and incentives. Together, we're sending a clear message: state tax incentives are meant to create jobs right here in New York State,” said State Senator Tim Kennedy.
"There are over 260,000 call center workers in New York but over the last twelve years, we have lost nearly 40,000 call center jobs in New York. As the Senate Labor Committee Chair, I was thrilled to join CWA and my colleagues in voting yes on the Save New York Jobs Act, and now I join them in celebrating the passage of this bill in the Assembly. This bill is good for labor and it is good for New York because it will keep these jobs here and put workers above corporations," said State Senator Jessica Ramos.
“I thank the assembly for passing this very important legislation. In January, AT&T announced the closure of a call center in Syracuse. 150 workers, some of whom had worked there for decades, faced the choice: move to Florida to work for lower pay and undefined benefits, or stay and join the ranks of the unemployed. Meanwhile, our community had no choice but to lose 150 good union jobs, along with the income and benefits that supported 150 families and contributed in countless ways to the life and economy of our city. It is imperative that we hold companies receiving taxpayer assistance to their promises and to require them to be good corporate citizens,” said State Senator Rachel May.
“We are extremely proud of the legislature for passing this critical bill that will protect hard-working New Yorkers across the state. The well-being of families and communities is jeopardized every time good jobs are shipped out of New York communities. We are excited to be part of this coalition that has been on the frontlines of the fight to protect call center workers. Now, call center workers will be able to have peace of mind knowing that their job is safe and sound” said Jessica Wisneski, Co-Director of Citizen Action.
Rev. Kirk Laubenstein Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice in Buffalo said, "The passage of the Call Center Jobs Act is a game changer. This bill will keep good family sustaining jobs in NYS and ensure that if a call centers moves more than 30% of jobs out of the state they will lose all their state grants and contracts."
“Today is a great day in Albany. Call center employees like me will no longer live in fear of our jobs being shipped out of state. The voices of New York workers drowned out those of the big corporations who have prioritized profits over people. I am so proud of my elected officials for standing up for call center workers who just want to be able to rely on their good, middle-class job. As a single mother, I know the importance of this legislation firsthand and I know how it will personally affect me and my child. Finally, I know my job is safe and stable. This is a huge victory,” said Brittni Everett, a call center worker from Albany, NY.
Communications Workers of America
Working Families Party
Citizen Action New York
Clean Air Coalition
Coalition for Economic Justice
Community Voices Heard
Long Island Progressive Coalition
Labor Religion Coalition
Strong Economy for All
Long Island Jobs with Justice
New York State Nurses Association
Westchester for Change