AUGUSTA (AP) — Labor union members are calling on Maine lawmakers to approve a bill designed to keep jobs at call centers in the state.

Members from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications of America joined Maine AFL-CIO and Assistant Democratic Senate Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash at the statehouse on Thursday to support the bill.

Under the bill, the state would make a list of Maine employers who have relocated call centers out of the country. Those employers wouldn’t be able to get state grants, loans or tax benefits for a certain number of years.

The groups say that almost 20,000 Maine residents work in call centers. They say call center jobs are increasingly being sent out of the country, hurting Maine workers.

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