Congressional delegation decries Amtrak plan to close call center

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A letter signed by 39 members of California’s congressional delegation takes Amtrak to task for its plans to close its Riverside call center, calling it a “union-busting” move, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.

Amtrak has announced plans to close the Riverside facility on Jan. 18, citing decreased call volume, but has contracted with a Florida call center to handle heavy volume periods. [See “Amtrak to close California reservation center, eliminating 550 jobs,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 15, 2018.]

The congressional delegation’s letter was first discussed at a Wednesday rally by the union representing the call center workers. [See “Congressmen join effort to sway Amtrak plans to close call center,Trains News Wire, Dec. 13, 2018.] It says the contract with Teleperformance Inc. “flies in the face of your Nov. 14 announcement to employees that cited an alleged reduction in calls as a principle reason for your decision to outsource this work. But if that were true, Amtrak would not require the contractor to hire additional workers.”

The letter further notes that while the representatives “agree with Congress’ mandate that Amtrak should and must endeavor to deliver services more efficiently, that does not give Amtrak license to engage in union-busting and union-avoidance maneuvers to lower costs on the backs of working men and women.”

Rep. Mark Takano wrote the letter addressed to Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson and recruited 38 other California members of Congress to sign the letter. The newspaper reports that all but one of the signers, Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, are Democrats.

The full text of the letter is available here.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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