Bipartisan House Passes Axne's Outsourcing Accountability Act

October 18, 2019
Press Release
Legislation would protect American jobs by increasing accountability and transparency in corporate

WASHINGTON – Today, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne’s (IA-03) Outsourcing Accountability Act, legislation that would protect American workers by holding corporations accountable for outsourcing U.S. jobs overseas. The legislation, which Rep. Axne wrote, would increase transparency by requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose where employees are located by state and country in their annual report. Rep. Axne introduced this legislation following 400 Wells Fargo Des Moines layoffs last December.   

“I’ve heard from dozens of Iowans in my district who are wondering how they’re going to pay their bills because they’ve been laid off due to ‘technological advances,’ only to then be asked to train their replacement overseas,” said Rep. Axne.Across the country, corporations are leaving American workers high and dry by discreetly shipping jobs overseas to benefit their bottom line. By holding companies accountable for outsourcing, this bill will help disincentivize the practice and give employees, consumers and investors the information they need to make informed decisions about supporting companies that support American jobs.”

By increasing transparency and accountability, the Outsourcing Accountability Act will allow the public to identify which companies are supporting American workers and which are shipping jobs overseas. Additionally, the legislation would help ensure workers have access to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that provides American workers with support and training, but only if they can certify that they were laid off due to outsourcing.   

“My bill, the Outsourcing Accountability Act, would simply require publicly-traded companies to disclose information they already have about which state and country their employees are located in. Having spent a career in human resources and organizational development, I know that if a corporation does not already keep track of where their employees are located, they have bigger problems than my legislation,” Rep. Axne.  

Congresswoman Axne began looking into this issue following a March 12th House Financial Services Committee hearing where she questioned former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan about the 400 Des Moines workers the company laid off in late 2018. When Ms. Axne asked Mr. Sloan if those jobs were moved overseas, he said no. However, her office has since heard from dozens of Des Moines Wells Fargo current and former employees who said that they were told to train replacements India.

Following this hearing, Rep. Axne called on Wells Fargo to notify Iowa workers whose jobs were shipped overseas, specifically to India and the Philippines.