Outsourcing in America

You’ve spent twenty plus years loyally working in Information Technology (IT) for Southern California Edison, and eighteen months ago your boss tells you that they are going to study outsourcing but not to worry, “your position is safe.” On the one hand you are worried because you know many stories of American IT workers losing their jobs to outsourcing, but on the other you feel comforted that you’ve been loyal to SCE and provide a critical service. Then eight months ago they tell you that they are outsourcing most IT functions and that they want you, get this, to train your guest worker replacement. If you say no, SCE will terminate you with cause and you would lose not only a severance package but also eligibility for unemployment insurance. This is the common story I heard from many workers at SCE.

The work that the 400 SCE IT employees do isn’t disappearing, instead it and their jobs are being taken over by foreign guest workers here on H-1B visas. Those guest workers are employed by the two leading India-based outsourcing firms, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.

The SCE workers are wondering: “Why should I lose my job when the work still needs to be done? Why is the government doing this to me and my family?”

  • Hard Little Machine

    Train your replacement very badly. Get them to do the job wrong.

    • tom_billesley

      Use BOFH (Bastard Operator from Hell) as a training guide.

  • tom_billesley

    Some companies are bucking the trend. Nat West Bank in the UK saw the cost in customer satisfaction.

  • P_F

    The same thing happened over here in Canada, and all over the developed world.
    It started with the manufacturing plants first, the manufacturing of consumable goods went overseas then went the service jobs and whatever jobs were left – like farm workers, baristas, nanny, cashiers, construction, etc. which they can’t ship to third world countries- were soon filled by TFW and newly arrived immigrants.

  • North Americans and Europeans have to re-think not only education and training but compensation. Unions help drive away jobs and companies and middle-men look for the cheapest alternative to well-paid labour. Declaw unions (if one cannot remove them) and make compensation conditional. There are too many benefits that cost too much. One has to trim somewhere.