Steinberg Statement on Comcast Announcement

September 25, 2012

(Sacramento) - Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is issuing the following statement regarding Comcast’s announcement today that it is closing its three California call centers and laying off more than 1,000 employees:

“I’m very disheartened at Comcast’s sudden announcement that it’s cutting more than 1,000 jobs by closing its three California call centers, including the Natomas center in my Senate District. I’m concerned for the employees and the disruption to their families, while I’m also puzzled and extremely disappointed that Comcast representatives only informed my office about these call center closures and layoffs today, after their announcement was made public.

“A Comcast representative told my office the reason behind it is a corporate restructuring to make their call centers more efficient. Yet news outlets are being told a different story, that the centers are being moved because of ‘the high cost of doing business in California.’ No other specifics have been given.

“This comes at a time when California’s economy is actually on the move, with 365,000 non-farm jobs added in the private sector over the past 12 months. As we struggle to recover from the national Great Recession, that represents job growth at a rate almost twice that in the rest of the United States. In addition, we have submitted a balanced, on-time budget for the second fiscal year in a row, passed reform of the state’s workers compensation system to lower costs, passed pension reform, and passed reform of the Americans with Disabilities Act to protect business against predatory legal actions. I have also committed to comprehensive reform of the California Environmental Quality Act next year to remove impediments to business growth while ensuring sound environmental protections for our communities.

“My door is always open to industry representatives who face obstacles in sustaining and growing their businesses. In that spirit of working collaboratively, I invite Comcast representatives to meet with me at their earliest convenience to outline their issues and discuss what my office and the Legislature might do to resolve their concerns. Pending those discussions, I would ask Comcast executives to reconsider their actions of today.”