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Turner & Coniglio Bill Fights To Keep Jobs From Going Offshore

TRENTON – Senators Shirley K. Turner and Joseph Coniglio welcomed final legislative approval by the Assembly of their bill that would ban the use of overseas labor in contracts entered into by the State or an authority under its control.

“When New Jersey signs a contract with a company for the performance of services, that service should be done by American citizens,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Off-shoring is a serious concern for the future of New Jersey’s workforce, and we need to make sure that the money of New Jersey’s taxpayers doesn’t go toward companies that employ this practice. The State itself needs to lead by example and make sure that every service contract we sign uses American labor.”

Bill S-494 would require that every State contract primarily for providing services must include provisions which specify that all services under the contract or any subcontract must be performed in the United States. The bill would require also the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property and the Director of the Division of Property Management and Construction to include notification of this policy in every State contract for services.

“New Jersey should not do business with companies that move quality jobs abroad, plain and simple,” explained Senator Congilio, D-Bergen. “Saving a few dollars is not worth the costs to New Jersey families when they see their highly skilled job move half way around the globe for the benefit of corporate profits. For almost half a million families, the threat of seeing their livelihood moved to Asia or South America is very real and they need to know that the State is doing everything possible to keep their jobs on U.S. soil.”

The bill would also grant an exemption to the provisions of the bill if the service required cannot be provided by a contractor or subcontractor in the United States. Under the bill, the Treasurer would be required to review all State contracts primarily for the performance of services, which have not been terminated or completed, and determine if any of the services are being performed outside of the United States. The Treasurer would report his findings to the Governor and the Legislature within 180 days of the bill’s effective date.

Off-shoring is the practice by American companies of moving jobs to other countries to take advantage of lower wages and fewer benefits. While this has been a common trend for manufacturing jobs over the last few decades, it has only recently spread to fields that have been traditionally considered “white-collar” such as administrative support, business and financial operations, and computers.

The bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 65-5. It now goes to Governor Codey’s desk for his signature.

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