Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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5/30/2006
12:04 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
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Here's A Twist: Workers In India Fear Outsourcing

There's an old Dilbert cartoon in which the pointy-haired boss is asked if he believes in irony. His reply: "No, I send my shirts to a service." If you don't believe in irony, here's a story that will convert you. It's about a group of workers in India that's holding protests against...outsourcing.

There's an old Dilbert cartoon in which the pointy-haired boss is asked if he believes in irony. His reply: "No, I send my shirts to a service." If you don't believe in irony, here's a story that will convert you. It's about a group of workers in India that's holding protests against...outsourcing.According to India's Economic Times, Indian workers employed by the country's reserve bank this week held demonstrations to protest possible plans by the bank to outsource some routine jobs to the private sector. The Times provides the following quote from K K Sharma, secretary of the All India Reserve Bank Employees Association: "We have two main demands--implementation of the revised pension scheme and no outsourcing of jobs from RBI." Back-office workers at the RBI are worried about their positions going to a private group called the National Payments Corporation of India. They're concerned that the private sector will pay less and provide shoddy work. Does this sound familiar? I don't know much about NPCI, but with salaries increasing across the board in India, maybe it's also planning to move RBI jobs to China, or Vietnam, or some other lower-wage country. No doubt U.S. opponents of outsourcing will help themselves to a delicious piece of Schadenfreude over this news. They'll see it as a perfect example of what-comes-around-goes-around. Maybe, but it also puts the lie to the notion that outsourcing represents a conspiracy against American workers. In fact, it's just a business practice that's currently in vogue not just in North America, but across the whole flat world.

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