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Maximus Call Center Workers Contracted To Support ACA Open Enrollment Strike In Four States

Above Photo: Census worker Anna Arroyo takes calls about the census at City Hall in Reading, PA September 1, 2020 where bilingual census workers were taking calls from the public about providing their information for the 2020 census. Ben Hasty / MediaNews Group / Reading Eagle / Getty Images.

“Some frustrated callers become abusive and subject us to racist and sexist slurs.”

“We’re paid wages so low it’s nearly impossible to support a family. We’ve had enough.”

Call center workers employed by Maximus went on strike at four locations—in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia—on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Maximus is a federal contractor, and during the open enrollment period, workers there handle a nonstop stream of high-stakes calls from people trying to navigate the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid systems, but they have been pushed to their limit. As stated in a Twitter thread posted by Call Center Workers United, “We’ve been saying for years: during ACA open enrollment, we’re dealing with constant back-to-back calls. Some frustrated callers become abusive and subject us to racist and sexist slurs. We’re paid wages so low it’s nearly impossible to support a family. We’ve had enough. We’re striking for THREE SIMPLE DEMANDS: 1) $25/hr starting wage, 2) Time to breathe between calls, 3) Meaningful protection from abusive callers.” In this urgent mini-cast, we talk to Tiffany Murray, a worker at the Maximus call center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about the conditions that have pushed her and her coworkers to hit the picket line, and about what others around the country can do to help.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org):Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”

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