TRENTON – Senators Shirley K. Turner and Joseph Coniglio welcomed approval by the Assembly Labor Committee today of their bill that would ban the use of overseas labor in State contracts.
“Off-shoring is a serious concern for the future of New Jersey’s workforce,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “A recent report from New Jersey Policy Perspective showed that 1 in 8 New Jersey jobs could potentially be moved overseas, threatening the livelihoods of almost half a million New Jersey families. The State itself needs to lead by example and make sure that every service contract we sign is done using American labor.”
Bill S-494 would require that every State contract primarily for the performance of services must include provisions which specify that all services performed 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,” explained Senator Congilio, D-Bergen. “The savings of a few dollars seen by off-shoring state contracts are not worth the considerable costs when New Jersey residents lose their jobs to people half way around the globe. When we send taxpayers’ dollars overseas, we lose the economic benefits that would come to the people of New Jersey if those dollars stayed closer to home.”
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 Labor Committee by a vote of 6-1. It now goes to the full Assembly for final approval.