Everyone’s familiar with corporate outsourcing, which furloughs employees in favor of domestic agency-hired contract workers who draw only a salary, no benefits. It helps American companies shift/reduce labor costs and has been a boon to another business sector–the “temp” agency. At least American temps are still American workers, even if they’re not quite as well-paid as salaried company employees (after all, the agencies must get their “taste”). Business analysts prefer this arrangement because it moves a fixed cost category (labor) into an “administrative” budget column. Fixed Operating Costs are burdensome. Shareholders like companies that run “lean and mean.” Administrative costs are considered more “dynamic” and discretionary. They can be “buried,” attached to specific projects. They often escape scrutiny.
Impact of laying off full-time employees? Headlines…Impact of canceling contracts? Immediately lower labor costs, no publicity. It’s American business’s best kept secret.
Not so covert is “off-shoring.” It’s what companies do when they look at operating expenses, cringe at fixed labor costs, consider potential bad publicity, throw up their hands and say, “Screw it!” American workers are fired so domestic companies can replace them with cheaper foreign workers located across the planet. In our new “global economy, off-shoring is why Ashraf has become the voice of America’s “User Support Line.”
IBM , the people who brought us the PC and DOS, has taken outsourcing– and particularly, “off-shoring”– to a new level, by offering its employees can a chance to move to India, where IBM can exploit its cheap labor costs while its workers can develop their appreciation of curry. I’m not sure about what America’s reaction might be. They’re not American jobs…but it’s Americans doing American jobs overseas for American corporations. I guess it’s a start.
So, are you out of work?… a “people” person? Do you love adventure and crave travel? If so, hooray for Bollywood! Forget “Shuffling off to Buffalo”– it’s time to sky to Mumbai.