“The Jobs” are the most mysterious quantity in the known universe. No one knows where they come from or where they go to. Some speculate that government creates jobs, but so far it has only created jobs by destroying more jobs, which is a bit of a paradox.
From California, a place nearly as financially healthy as Bangladesh, comes this cheerful tale of a major company joining the exodus from California and making the mistake of saying so out loud.
Comcast customers in northern California who call in for help won’t be talking to their neighbors anymore. Kabletown announced yesterday that they plan to shut down call centers in Livermore, Morgan Hill and Sacramento in November. The 1,000 employees affected will have the opportunity to receive severance packages, or to follow their jobs as they’re transferred to call centers in Oregon, Washington and Colorado.
“We determined that the high cost of doing business in California makes it difficult to run cost-effective call centers in Northern California,” Regional Vice President Andrew Johnson explained in a quote provided to news outlets.
Losing 1,000 jobs, that sounds like good news for Governor Brown. So Gov Brown got on the case, not the “improving business conditions” case, but the “intimidating a company for telling the truth” case.
Later, at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, I got a call and email from Brook Taylor, a deputy director at the governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. He said Comcast had amended its statement and wanted to make sure I saw it.
Taylor also sent me a quote attributed to Mike Rossi, senior advisor for jobs and business development: “It is unfortunate that Comcast’s announcement to eliminate jobs in California inaccurately placed blame on the state but I am pleased to see the executives at Comcast taking responsibility and correcting the statement,” Rossi said.
And now that that morale has improved the whippings can end. Comcast has issued a statement so confusingly vague that it appears to be hiding from itself, except about the part where it loves doing business in California and its executives deny that they ever questioned California’s great business climate.
Comcast remains very committed to California. The Comcast family of companies which includes NBC Universal will continue to have approximately 20,000 employees in the state, will continue to hire employees in its other lines of business, and will continue to invest in its network and other operations in California.”
And how long are those 20,000 jobs going to remain in California? And when those jobs leave, what is Brown going to do to intimidate the last remnants of the company once it has outsourced everything?