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New Jersey Senate passes bill to ban firms from moving abroad
December 24, 2002 13:42 IST
In an attempt to create jobs for Americans by preventing foreigners, including Indians, from working as customer care executives, the New Jersey Senate in US has approved a bill to ban companies, which take government contracts, to move their call centres abroad for cheap labour.
The bill now goes to the Assembly.
The Senate unanimously adopted the bill which would require workers on the State contract to be US citizens or legal aliens unless they have specialty for which American workers cannot be found.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Shirley Turner said she crafted the measure after reports that eFund Corp of Scottsdale in Arizona state had won a seven-year $326,000 a month contract to process electronic welfare and food stamp cards for 194,000 New Jersey residents.
The company then moved its customer service centre from Green Bay in Wisconsin State to Mumbai, where workers are paid $2-3 an hour, far less than US workers, she claimed.
"We shouldn't be sending taxpayer-funded jobs for state contracts to foreign countries when our citizens need work," Turner said.
"We should be looking out for our own people instead of developing a cheap labour force in countries where benefits are rarely provided."
Before the vote, the bill was amended to allow foreigners who are in the US on work visas to be eligible for the employment pool for state contracts and to allow non-citizens to do work for specialised services that cannot be provided by American workers.