News : Union Cites Alorica Layoffs in Push for Legislation to Protect Call-center Workers
Beaumont, TX, USA, Dec, 2018 -- A labor union representing call-center employees says the announced closure of a Beaumont facility may be part of an ongoing push by employers to transfer such operations overseas. And they’re calling on lawmakers to stop it.
Alorica informed the Texas Workforce Commission this month that it plans to close its call center at 4645 Concord Road in late January, eliminating 367 jobs. The news comes on the heels of its closure of call centers in Terre Haute, Ind., and Kennesaw, Ga. Nearly 1,000 more Alorica call-center workers were laid off in 2017.
Communications Manager Erica McCarthy said in an email that the company is also growing in other areas as it adapts to customer demands.
"As a global company, we are constantly making strategic moves as we evaluate the evolving trends of the marketplace that impact our business," she said. "These strategic moves include expansions, new sites and changes to current operations on a global scale to support our growth strategy and mission."
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Half of Alorica’s global workforce of about 100,000 people are in North America, McCarthy said. The company in October also hosted its first National Recruiting Day that searched for 26,000 candidates in the U.S. and Canada to join the company.
Alorica’s overseas presence has expanded at the same time, although the company says the closures in Beaumont and other domestic sites aren’t related.
In October and November, the company announced plans to add more than 10,000 jobs at overseas sites, including Yokohama, Japan; Angeles City and Pasay City, Philippines; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Kingston, Jamaica; and Puebla, Mexico.
"We’re experiencing tremendous growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, thanks to the increasing demand for work both U.S.-based and local clients looking for cost-effective and exceptional customer care," Miro Batista, Alorica’s president of Latin America and the Caribbean, said in an October news release.
Other companies, including Capital One, Comerica and AT&T also announced layoffs or plans to lay off call-center workers this year, all while expanding or maintaining relationships with overseas call center vendors.
Largely as a result, the Communication Workers of America is calling for federal call-center legislation to add accountability and transparency to the "offshoring process."
"The legislation would require that U.S. callers be told the location of the call center to which they are speaking; offer callers the opportunity to be connected to a U.S.-based center if preferred; and make U.S. companies that offshore their call-center jobs from the U.S. ineligible for certain federal grants and taxpayer-funded loans," the union said in a release.
State versions of such a bill have also been introduced to ensure states can retrieve taxpayer dollars received by companies that move call-center work overseas and disqualify companies from eligibility for state grants, loans and tax credits, among other provisions.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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At Alorica, we only do one thing – we make lives better. How? By creating insanely great experiences for customers — online, on the phone and through social media. From acquisition and sales to customer care and support, Alorica provides a host of world class services, including customer relationship management and back office support. We’re proud to passionately serve clients as diverse as we are — including communications, financial services, healthcare, retail and tech companies, many in the Fortune 500. We call the OC home, headquartered in Irvine, CA, with more than 100,000 employees across the globe.
Published: Thursday, December 27, 2018
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