Chris Garlock, communications director of the Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council, AFL-CIO sends us this report and photos.
If T-Mobile customers in downtown Washington, D.C., were surprised to see the leather-clad “T-Mobile Girl” roar up on a motorcycle outside the 11th and E Street store today, they were even more surprised to find her passing out stickers urging the telecom giant to “Bring Jobs Home.”
The noontime action was one of dozens of Bring Jobs Home events that have been staged around the country to draw attention to the ongoing offshoring of U.S. jobs. In this case, highlighting the closing of seven U.S.-based T-Mobile call centers last month with the company shipping 3,300 jobs overseas.
The motorcycle riding "T-Mobile Girl" leading the protest was inspired by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) parody of a T-Mobile ad. the ad features a stylish young woman in a big city luxury high-rise who trades her chic designer party dress and high-fashion footwear for motorcycle leathers and boots to symbolize T-Mobile's "alter ego" as supposedly the most up-to-date 4G network and fastest smartphones.
In the CWA version (click here), after receiving her pink slip from T-Mobile telling her that her job has been shipped overseas, she sets out to tell the world T-Mobile's real alter ego is "Job Killer."
Passersby took fliers about this issue and many texted their outrage over T-Mobile's offshoring the call center jobs to Rene Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom. A representative from CWA and the “T-Mobile Girl” took the message inside to the store manager, asking T-Mobile to stop off-shoring jobs, keep the call centers open, and respect its workers’ fundamental labor rights to participate in a union and seek collective bargaining.
Offshoring is a major issue in the presidential campaign, especially Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital (read more here.) Congress has failed to act, with House Republicans on Tuesday blocking a measure on the Bring Jobs Home Act (H.R.5542). Meanwhile, more than 50,000 manufacturing facilities have closed in the last decade, 6 million manufacturing jobs have been wiped out and the U.S. trade deficit continues to grow while the largest U.S. non-financial corporations sat on a record $1 trillion in cash instead of creating jobs.
Along with the Bring Jobs Home Act, which the House Republicans voted down yesterday, working families also are pushing for a call center bill that would bar companies that send call center jobs overseas from receiving federal grants and tax breaks.
Working people are calling on lawmakers to:
- Address currency manipulation by other countries, which is a key driver of offshoring;
- Tax the overseas income of U.S. corporations the same way we tax their domestic income, so they can no longer lower their tax bill by shifting income and jobs overseas; and
- Push for fair trade policies that benefit workers—not just multinational corporations.
Text JOBS to 235246 to get info and action alerts to help bring America's jobs home. (Message and data rates may apply.) Click here, here and here for the most recent reports on Bring Jobs Home actions.