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U.S. tech unions call for law against offshoring

By SiliconIndia  |   Monday, 02 February 2009, 20:42 Hrs   |    22 Comments
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U.S. tech unions call for law against offshoring
Bangalore: As MNCs cut jobs in big numbers to rein in costs, IT workers and their unions in the U.S. are now up in arms against offshoring work to cheaper locations like India, reports The Economic Times.

Microsoft, which announced first job cuts in its history, and IBM are among those facing a backlash from tech worker unions and policymakers. Washington Alliance of Technology Workers and Alliance IBM are two organizations of IT workers at the Big Blue running a campaign against the proposed 2,800 job cuts announced recently.

Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance, said, "The Alliance is strongly urging IBM not to go forward with a new round of job cuts and to stop the off-shoring of US workers' jobs."

Consulting group Challenger, Gray and Christmas said last month that electronics, computer and telecommunications companies in the U.S. have cut their workforce by around 186, 955 professionals in 2008, up almost 75 percent from 2007. According to the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate during December last year rose from around 6.8 to 7.2 percent with almost 2 million workers losing their job between September to December.

On the other side, IBM employs over 70,000 professionals in India and has plans to increasingly serve its global customers from the country. "There is a growing concern among employees that IBM will accelerate the off-shoring of our jobs. To offshore U.S. jobs in the middle of an economic crisis and rising unemployment is simply unacceptable," said Tom Midgley, Alliance president in a January statement.

"We will work with our elected representatives to push for legislation that protects U.S. jobs and calls for the full disclosure of IBM's offshoring and outsourcing of American jobs."

At the same time, policymakers in the U.S. are already proposing new regulations to curb offshoring. In his letter to Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer last month, Senator Chuck Grassley asked the company to give priority to American workers. "My point is that during a layoff, companies should not be retaining H-1B or other work visa program employees over qualified American workers," he said in his January 22 letter. "Our immigration policy is not intended to harm the American workforce." Microsoft plans to cut around 5,000 jobs in the U.S.

However, experts such as Partha Iyengar, vice president at Gartner say that unavailability of required IT skills remains a key driver for offshoring.

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Reader's comments(22)
1: For India to improve, first cut down the sabhs, Madams, Mahatmas, Sars, Jis, and the Babus. Cut them down to their real minuscule size. Once the lower class learns English, all these current day intelligent Indians will go down into oblivion.
Another thing to do is the forcefully bring back all the sons and daughters of Indian officialdom back from England and America.
Their parents have literally looted this nation, with their huge salary (peon ten thousand, clerk 15 thousand, section officer 25 thousand, middle level executive 30-40 thousand, senior level, 70, thousand, IAS/IPS senior 125, thousand) per month. 13 months salary in a year. Bonus, LTA, Gratuity, Provident Fund, Commutation of 15 years pension together on retirement, medical reimbursement, children's education financial help, easy availability of bank loans and much else.
What does an ordinary Indian get? No more than 2000 to 3000 per month. No pension, no nothing. That is the truth. What more? All the higher words in the local feudal languages are all reserved for the officialdom. The lower words for the lower class Indians.
Stop blaming the UK and the US for all the local faults. They treat their citizens well. Commend them for that. Let them successfully help their citizens more and stop this BPO and H1 and H2 etc. nonsense.

Posted by:Ved from Victoria Institutions - 10 Feb, 2009
2: India is currently a nation, which is very insulting to most of its own people. The same is the case with most other third world nation.
Some people go to gulf, some to England, some to US. They get a pittance there, but are rich over here in India. They tremble when Indian currency value go up.
Great Britain and US businessmen thought it a great idea to give work to cheaper labourers from abroad. See, what has happened. Their money leaked. Each foreign worker there and every BPO worker here are simply a leak on the total financial strength there.
If any third world nation wants to improve, first cut down the huge salary of their own officialdom. Teach English to the lower classes, and thus allow them to become equal to their 'boss' class. The very mention of the lower class learning English will make the so-called educated, upper middle class Indian tremble. They want equality with the citizens of UK and US, but if any of their own lower class even sit in their presence, they will literally go mad with anger.

Posted by:Ved from Victoria Institutions - 10 Feb, 2009
3: Krishnakant...... I agree with Maya, even the word poorest will suit to our country unless and until India becomes Self-Reliant and not dependent on USA.......... Please note
Posted by:Athar Mohammad Aarif - 04 Feb, 2009
4: Maya in ue reply u hacve written "Poor nations like India... How sick ur to say ur country is poor...
i appresiate wot all other things u have written but the word poor is not acceptable for our nation.
Posted by:krishnakant - 03 Feb, 2009
5: rajas said: 5000 Microsoft employees produce the same output as 4000 Indian workers. That is because the 4000 offshore workers keep their American coworkers busy with their most elementary questions, expecting everything to be spelt out to them in detail over e-mail, instant messages & phone calls and still manage to screw things up !
Posted by:Seeta Ramani - 03 Feb, 2009
6: Now it is the right time for citizens of USA to shed laziness, accepts salary cuts, sharpen their skills and compete for bread and butter along with poor nations like India, Ethiopia...
Posted by:maya - 03 Feb, 2009
7: This is a wakeup call for Americans. Stand up and fight to retain the jobs here. By offshoring you are compromising the quality and few top executives are becoming rich (Guess what). Most placed through the offshoring companies are fresh out from school and guess the end result.
Posted by:FNU - 03 Feb, 2009
8: Why don't India off shore their jobs to U.S? As, the salary and cost of living in India is getting more than U.S, why not offshore to U.S? Let's see, how it hurts the employeement in their country? Grass in green on other side of the fence...
Posted by:stop_offshore - 03 Feb, 2009
9: Only one sentence is enough for this WAR "Unavailability of required IT skills remains a key driver for offshoring. "
Posted by:pushkar rathod - 03 Feb, 2009
10: In these circumstances, should we give massive contracts in the defence and enegy sectors to American companies willing to throw out Asians and not Americans in an effort to save their jobs, and make us lose ours?
Posted by:Rajiv S Shankar - 03 Feb, 2009
11: Americans are more skilled than H-1Bs. Name one product or invention by a H-1B. There is none. H-1Bs are nothing but cheap indentured servants.
Posted by:Black man from U.S.A. - 03 Feb, 2009
12: Good decesion.The people of US will behave they are the superiors than any one in this world.
They will make the rules that should benefit them.
Posted by:hanumantha - 03 Feb, 2009
13: moral of the story is, they fire us then they are firing Intelligence & the future of tht company.. JV or merger. no option..
Posted by:adi - 03 Feb, 2009
14: It is wonderful news to hear that UK and USA which more or less delivered almost all modern scientific knowledge have very little skilled people. Well, the only skill they lack will be in corruption and a fleecing bureaucracy.
Posted by:Ved from Victoria Institutions - 03 Feb, 2009
15: Half of these layoff is not due to cost cutting, but due to over-hiring. Companies till now had hired too many people and when the global economy slowed down, those companies had it hard on their faces. Hence this layoff under the name of cost cutting.

However, talking about offshoring.. well, people in other countries do the same work with better efficiency at less then one fourth the price.. Then why not.. It is purely business. Put yourself in the running shoes and stumble on one or more rocks then you will know your way around..
Posted by:Ishat Naik - 03 Feb, 2009
16: What ever policy will make there will always dearth of Skilled people in US & UK.
so this is the matter why they unemployed only because they don't have skilled professionals. Other wise this condition never arise "
Posted by:Ranjeet - 03 Feb, 2009
17: Out of these 15000 indian workers, how many are really skilled and how many just fill the benches - chatting over messanger ?
Posted by:ravi - 02 Feb, 2009
18: 5000 Microsoft workers in US consume salary equivalent to 15000 Indian ms workers and may be producing output equivalent of 4000 indians...where would you cut jobs if you had to make the decision..
Posted by:Rajas - 02 Feb, 2009
19: Please validate the source of this news Item
Posted by:Saurabh Bhatia - 02 Feb, 2009
20: Good thinking. I think any home will like to feed their family members before feeding people from outside
Posted by:Raj - 02 Feb, 2009
21: Sincere,Skelled and Hardworking employees needed to company for making success, Non-american gets the jobs till now? Why?
Posted by:Sachit - 02 Feb, 2009
22: But what about the skilled labor? Did they forget that without skill the country will come down more?
Posted by:pamela - 02 Feb, 2009
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