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Call centers have historically provided solid, middle-class jobs for New York families.

The practice of New York subsidizing corporations that destroy good, middle-class jobs must end. It feels silly to have to say that, but sadly I do.

Call centers have historically provided solid, middle-class jobs for New York families.

Long gone are the days when a family could live comfortably with a minimum wage job. In 1968, a worker making the federal minimum wage could support a partner and a child above the poverty line. Today, you can’t even support yourself and a child on it. Even with the recent increase to the minimum wage, hitting $15 an hour in New York City, it’s impossible for families in many parts of the state to live on minimum wage.

Labor leaders and advocates in New York are optimistic that a bill punishing companies for shipping call-center jobs overseas is on track to become law.

With Democrats in control of both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s office for the first time in a decade, the legislation is one of many stalled agenda items that will likely pass both houses before the end of the current session.

Rick Moriarty  |  Syracuse.com

Syracuse, N.Y. -- AT&T is closing a call center in downtown Syracuse and offering all of the center’s approximately 150 employees jobs elsewhere in the company.

The lease at the center’s office at 250 S. Clinton St. is expiring and the company has decided to consolidate its functions with an AT&T facility in Orange Park, Florida, “to increase efficiency and make the most effective use of our facilities," AT&T spokesman Jim Kimberly said Monday.

Rick Moriarty  |  Syracuse.com

Syracuse, N.Y. -- The Communications Workers of America is criticizing AT&T for its decision to close its 150-worker call center in downtown Syracuse while reaping a $20 billion windfall from the 2017 tax cut law.

“AT&T should have to explain why it’s rolling out closure after closure, and upending lives of workers who’ve given the company so much,” CWA Telecommunications and Technologies Vice President Lisa Bolton said in a statement Thursday.