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IBM Shifts 14,000 Jobs to India 1077

Omar Khan writes "The New York Times reports, 'Even as it lays off up to 13,000 workers in Europe and the U.S., IBM plans to increase its payroll in India this year by more than 14,000 workers.' Slashdot previously covered the black-and-blue strike, in which the union wondered, 'if other cost cutting mechanisms could achieve the same effect without cutting so may jobs.'"
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IBM Shifts 14,000 Jobs to India

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  • Union (Score:3, Informative)

    by ch0p ( 798613 ) <> on Friday June 24, 2005 @12:35PM (#12901676) Homepage
    Here [] is the IBM Union website, if anyone is interested.
  • Re:I'm screwed? (Score:4, Informative)

    by grungebox ( 578982 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @12:40PM (#12901741) Homepage
    I guess a programming major insn't enough. Now I need to learn Indian as well.

    Maybe you need to learn to be culturally literate. "Indian" isn't a language. Likewise, "programming" isn't a major. It's a skill. Computer science is a major. That's like saying "typing" is your major rather than, say, English.
  • Re:I'm screwed? (Score:5, Informative)

    by aprentic ( 1832 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @12:48PM (#12901850) Homepage
    The official language of India is Hindi. But English is the language of business, politics, and technology.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @12:49PM (#12901860) Journal
    To the USA and EU. The jobs disappearing from EU were preceeded by US layoffs some time ago. And it is not just IBM, but I think that many here know that already.
  • by DanielMarkham ( 765899 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @01:14PM (#12902184) Homepage
    Gartner just released a study of the top five reasons offshore deals go bust. [] I hope IBM was paying attention. It sounds like a lot of companies jump into these deals because of the labor differential and then find out later it wasn't such a good deal after all. There are a lot more factors to consider than just free trade, losing American jobs, and profit. Long-term viability has got to be high on the list of things to consider, right? (My blog on this) []
  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @01:20PM (#12902259) Journal

    I see 7 hits for "perl" under $30k []. 76 under $50k [].

    Did I blink or something and companies suddenly quit using Perl? I get 9 hits for J2EE under $30k. 45 under $50k.

    Obviously the future lies with the latest and greatest languages. C# has a whopping 85 entries under $50k. 5 under $30k.

    So tell me, what do I need to search for to pull up the 14,000 jobs that IBM has available? Surely I can move in with my parents and give up saving for the future and make myself competitive for one of these positions, right?
  • by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @01:39PM (#12902495) Journal
    US labor force participation (the percent of population with a job) in 1960 was 59.4%, in 1970 was 60.4%, in 1980 was 63.8%, and is now at 66%. So it is fair to say that US labor force participation is also historically fairly high.

    It is down from the all-time high of 67.1% in 2000, but the bubble burt, you know.
  • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Informative)

    by alnjmshntr ( 625401 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @01:49PM (#12902621)
    It just doesn't work that way. Fact is companies are under enormous stress (from shareholders) to increase profits year by year.

    You can do this 1 of 2 ways, either increase revenue or decrease costs.

    So the cost saving is *never* passed on to the consumer, it's passed on to the shareholder, via a larger reported profit and an increase in the share price.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:01PM (#12902763)
    no, he doesn't have a strange definition. YOU are just using the wrong numbers. The "unemployment numbers" are false. Those numbers are only the number of people actively looking for work as reported to the govt. the real measure is the number of people actually working divided by the number of people elligible to be in the workforce (this is the participatory labor percentage) and that is currently at an all time high, or damned near it. Unemployment numbers during WW2 were not 0%, they were very low but not at 100%. Mechanization of production has rpetty much assured that that circumstance will not happen ever again, however.
  • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:2, Informative)

    by jludwig ( 691215 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:22PM (#12902995) Homepage
    What good is capitalism for workers when there's absolutely no scarcity of labor

    Hmm, see Kurt Vonnegut's "Piano Player" for some interesting sci-fi, humor and insight here.
  • by Naum ( 166466 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @02:52PM (#12903359) Homepage Journal []

    In a recent newsletter I wrote about a new corporate plan by Honeywell that some of their executives called a "Census Adjustment". Their cutsie corporate terminology is just another way of describing their new policy of replacing U.S. labor with cheaper foreign labor. I equated Honeywell's "census adjustment" to a corporate policy of "ethnic cleansing".

    Since that newsletter was published I have received credible
    information about several of the specifics of the Honeywell plan. The following information may seem like a spoof, but I assure you that it's no joke and nobody at Honeywell will be laughing as of July 1st.

    DISCLAIMER: Although this information contained in this newsletter is from a credible source, there may be some factual errors. I have no way of independently verifying any of these factoids below.

    ***** Dictionary of terms used by Honeywell corporate executives

    Learning the dialects used by the corporatists can help us understand how they view the world. These are a few terms that I learned by studying information from Honeywell.

    Census Adjustment: mass replacement of higher priced American employees with lower cost foreign employees. They don't make a distinction between foreign workers that come to the U.S. on H-1B/L-1 visas and workers that are in offshore positions. In most cases the foreign workers are high-tech workers from India or Eastern Europe. This term
    is going out-of-favor among Honeywell executives because so many employees made derisive comments and jokes about it.

    Globalization: the use of workers as a global commodity to lower cost. This term can be used interchangeably with "census adjustment".

    Globalized engineers: usually used when referring to foreign engineers
    that come to the U.S. by using H-1B and L-1 visas, but it can also be
    used to describe overseas engineers that work for Honeywell (the exact
    meaning depends on the context). The phrase is a clever code-word that
    corporate execs and HR lap-dogs use for "Cheap engineers".

    Infill - the process of filling job positions with workers. There is no
    distinction made between the hiring of new workers or the transferring
    of workers from one Honeywell location to another. "Infill" is a trendy
    term that is very popular with borks and HR departments.

    ----- Honeywell's Plan for Census Adjustment by Globalization -----

    Honeywell executives have decided that revenue spent for engineering
    must go below 15% of their total expenditures. In order to cut costs
    they will "globalize" their engineering departments. This globalization
    process will focus on cutting the cost of labor by using the following

    * Replacing current Honeywell workers with L-1 visa holders. These L-1
    visa holders will come mostly from Russia, Czech Republic, and India.

    * Whenever possible all positions in engineering and its support
    functions will be outsourced to overseas locations.

    * All new IT jobs will be required to be outsourced offshore.

    * No external hiring will be allowed, and transfers of employees within
    Honeywell will be discouraged until the job terminations are complete.

    * Open job positions will be "backfilled with globalized engineers at a
    lower cost." Managers that refuse to go along with this process will be
    replaced with more cooperative ones.

    * American subcontractors are currently being eliminated and replaced
    with foreign companies.

    The following factoids pertain specifically about Honeywell's Component
    Engineering in their Commercial Electronic Systems (CES) on Deer Valley
    Road in Phoenix, Arizona and Aerospace (AES). Similar tactics will be
    used at other Honeywell locations.

    >> Honeywell CEO, Dave Cote, has ordered Roman Jamragowiecz, VP of
    Engineering, to globalize 25% of AES engineering. It is generall
  • by That's Unpossible! ( 722232 ) * on Friday June 24, 2005 @03:35PM (#12903846)
    Not necessarily. Stock is bought "used" unless it's from an IPO.

    Where did he say "stock"? He said "investment."

    - It means investing money in banks: giving everyone else a better chance for a loan at a lower rate.

    - It means investing in new companies: giving people jobs, new/better goods and services, and opening up potential for others to invest (shareholders).

    - It means starting your own company, that's an investment, too.

    - And yes, it means investing in the stock market. And while you may think they are buying the stock "used," if no one buys the stock, the price of the stock goes down because there are more sellers than buyers, and that affects the underlying company in many different ways.

    When I buy IBM stock, IBM doesn't see a penny of that money; some goes to middlemen, and the rest goes to a former IBM stockholder.

    Uh huh... right. And what happens when IBM pays you a dividend on your shares? And what happens when you sell those shares for a profit somewhere down the road? And what happens when IBM has more power to leverage it's higher share prices.

    It's not like you're just paying someone for a piece of worthless paper.

    Since 86% of stock is owned by the wealthiest 10%...

    Source of this statistic? speny buying stock (or stock-price appreciation caused by businesses) goes pretty much to the rich, accelerating the concentration of wealth.

    Wow. You are stunningly ignorant about the stock market. How does purchasing equity concentrate wealth elsewhere? You have purchased SOMETHING. You can earn profit on it (indicated above). You are investing in the economy.

    I have trouble imagining what kind of economic efficiency, or society, we will have when a (relative) handful of people own everything, and the rest of us are serfs.

    The reason you may have trouble imagining this is because it is ludicrous. The economy is a pie. The richer among us have a large share of the pie. When the economy grows, the pie gets bigger. Their piece of pie grows, yes -- but so does everyone else's.

    It's not a zero sum game. That's just something those interest in class warfare like to put out there for scaremongering.
  • by richieb ( 3277 ) <[richieb] [at] []> on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:39PM (#12904409) Homepage Journal
    I honestly believe that IBM - and all of the firms so happily laying off their employees in order to find cheaper labour - are acting in an immoral manner.

    IBM is not an entity that can be moral or not. The company's main responsibility is to make money for the shareholders (i.e. the owners).

    As long as IBM employees do not break laws, all that matters is the bottom line...

  • by Josuah ( 26407 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @04:57PM (#12904573) Homepage
    This is an extremely important point. As soon as a company goes public, the owners of the company are the shareholders. It doesn't matter what the officers or managers or any employee thinks. If they do not maximize profit and stock price, they will get fired.

    No one is protected from that fate, regardless of their position within a company. Carly Fiorina is a prime example of what can happen when the shareholders are unhappy. It doesn't matter if she was trying to do the "right" thing for HP's future. Even if a decision was made to not kill babies, if the company started losing tons of money to not kill babies, the shareholders would revolt.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.