Federal contractor call center workers go on strike | Louisiana News

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Call center workers who handle health insurance issues for Americans have gone on strike at facilities in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Call center workers in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Bogalusa, Louisiana are employed by Maximus Inc., one of the nation’s largest federal call center contractors, The Sun Herald reported. Employees went on strike for the first time ever on Wednesday, demanding paid sick leave, competitive wages and better health insurance, the newspaper reported.

Workers also say Maximus tried to disrupt workers’ efforts to unionize.

Virginia-based Maximus says it respects its employees’ right to try to organize. In a statement, the company said it had increased wages and salaries and improved health care benefits within the limits of federal law, WDAM-TV reported.

The two call centers are among the company’s largest, according to a statement from a company representing workers. About 10,000 Maximus agents work at 11 call centers in nine states, according to the statement.

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The strike was scheduled for March 23 as it is the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Call center workers are under contract for Medicare and Medicaid services.

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