Australian Workers Forced to Train Infosys, TCS Employees to Take Their Jobs

Don Tennant

It may be little consolation to U.S. workers who have been forced to train the H-1B visa holders who replace them, but they might be interested to learn that the very same thing is happening to workers in Australia.

 

According to Australian press reports, as of January at least 188 IT employees of Westpac Banking Corp., one of Australia's oldest and largest banks, had been laid off as part of a large-scale restructuring that began in November. The bank confirmed earlier today that it was preparing to lay off another 119 IT workers and transition their roles overseas. What's most troubling about all of this is that like so many of their counterparts in the United States, these Australian workers are being forced to train their replacements - employees of Indian outsourcing companies, including Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TSC) - before they leave. These Indian workers are in Australia on 457 visas, a rough equivalent of the U.S. H-1B. According to an article in The Courier-Mail in Brisbane, as many as 2,000 Westpac employees could lose their jobs. Here's an excerpt:

Westpac staffer of 15 years, Russell Siachico, said of one trainee: "She has been shadowing me, sitting next to me and I have to teach her how to do my day-to-day job. Basically sitting next to me like a sponge, sucking in as much information as possible. It's devastating."

 

After the so-called "knowledge transfer," the overseas workers will return to India to teach their colleagues, who are paid far less than Westpac's Australian employees.

 

The nation's big four banks, which recorded profits of $24 billion last financial year, have slashed more than 3,300 jobs over the past 12 months. One Westpac staffer said the new recruits "don't have any experience in testing systems and most of them have never worked in a bank.'' Another worker said: "It is extremely demoralising to train people who are highly incompetent to take your own role. We get constant stupid questions every single day."

It appears that Westpac is unapologetic about forcing the employees to train their replacements. The employees have been informed that they are expected to "act professionally" throughout the process:

In a letter obtained by The Sunday Mail, Westpac head of employee relations Michael Johnston admitted sending Australian jobs overseas was "an important element of the Westpac Group's strategy'' and had been for "some time."

 


"Our expectation is that employees act professionally in providing reasonable assistance with review and transition activities,'' he said. "We are ensuring that employee contact in any review is minimised and is undertaken as unobtrusively as possible."

The article pointed out that the Australian government has warned that Westpac could be in violation of immigration regulations, and that it's required to pay the Indian workers the same salaries as Australians. It concluded with a statement from Australia's Finance Sector Union:

FSU acting secretary Veronica Black attacked Westpac for asking staff to "effectively facilitate the destruction of their own jobs."

 

"I am surprised Westpac might think that it is acceptable to treat its loyal employees in this way as it goes about deciding whether to destroy their jobs in the bank's rush to reduce costs,'' she said.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 6, 2012 2:12 AM john80224 john80224  says: in response to R. Lawson

When faced with feed the family for X more months or take the moral high ground, high ground is hard to take.  Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to see it.  Sadly, the bank also helps itself because they are flooding the labor market (where stories of "shortage" are likely exaggerated) with their own outcasts-making it that much harder for them to find the next job.  Adding insult to injury, five years from now there's every chance those displaced workers may very well be having their resume reviewed by some of the people they were once training.

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Mar 6, 2012 3:04 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to john80224

John, I agree it may not be practical for everyone but they need to find a job ASAP anyways.

It is a perfectly rational plan to use whatever vacation and personal time you have and devote yourself to finding a new job.  I also wouldn't give them two weeks notice if those 2 weeks entailed knowledge transfer offshore.  If you find another job you are in control again.  Why subject yourself to the indignity of training your offshore replacement when you don't need to?

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Mar 6, 2012 4:19 AM john80224 john80224  says: in response to R. Lawson

Pride is an expensive thing.  It's very hard to forego a paycheck while you look for the next one.

Nothing would have gratified me more than to have replied with a mid-conversation hang-up and walking my merry self right out the door.  Even though in retrospect, we had the savings, blowing through what took 2 years to set aside for the luxury of telling Mr. Upahdyayula what I thought of his new corporate direction was going to hurt me more than him.

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Mar 6, 2012 4:46 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to john80224

"Pride is an expensive thing.  It's very hard to forego a paycheck while you look for the next one."

I didn't suggest anyone forego a paycheck.  If you play your cards right you can use your vacation days, personal days, and weekends and attempt to locate another job. 

If you are living pay-check to pay-check (which is what I think you are suggesting), well they really do have you by the  family jewels. 

What is more expensive than pride is being in a position of weakness.  This is why, no matter what profession you are in, you budget and plan for the unexpected.  Everyone should make it a goal to have 6 months salary in reserve.  If you are in a position of weakness, you are more timid at work - and you also do a worse job.  The reason H-1b workers are so exploited is because they are in a position of weakness given corporate sponsorship (control) of their visa.

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Mar 6, 2012 5:25 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to john80224

There was just one time I had to quit and gave a two week notice period when I sensed that things were not going the way I would have liked it. The following simple steps can make it easier for a worst case scenario just in case

1. Resume: Updating resume every 3 to 6 months on popular job sites.

2. Public profile: Have some form of technical participation at a public level for visibility(blogs, twitter updates on professional stuff you read and do, groups discussions, user groups, free mini programs etc). I've known project managers and tech leads who are serious about their projects do a google on candidates to get a feel for them.

3. Practice: Attend interviews (telephonic if not face to face) just for the sake of it so you can practice, get confident and also know what kind of demands can be made in the market.

4. Networking: It's good to have friends that can refer you in their companies.

Apart from that, constantly learning your stuff is a good idea if you make it to the interview.

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Mar 6, 2012 5:58 AM john80224 john80224  says: in response to R. Lawson

@Roy, I think I did read some things into your words that you had not stated.  Sorry about that.

I wasn€™t so much speaking of paycheck to paycheck, but either way, you are right about position of weakness.  The uncertainty of the next job can make even a hefty nest-egg look questionable.  I think a lot of it can also have something to do with whether you€™ve been through that wringer before.  Doing so can definitely make you more aware of staying employable overall, not just being what your current employer values.

One (darkly) interesting part to me is the impact of severance or bonuses for remaining.  Say you€™ve got a standing offer at whatever your current salary is.  Even then, giving up severance could mean you€™ve passed on $5, $10, $20,000 to make a statement.  For some doing what feels best is worth it.  My then manager pre-emptively quit and lost 3 months of easy paychecks knowing he could €œphone it in€, and passed up a six month severance.

It€™s a cost-benefit analysis: how much are you giving up in order to make your statement, reduce your stress, etc.?

I€™d love to see it be another Molina or coordinated, unanimous walkout by IT, but there are tradeoffs each must weigh for himself.

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Mar 6, 2012 6:12 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to john80224

I would also remind everyone to attend user groups and other professional events. These are almost always free and great networking opportunities.Here is a link the the INETA user groups in Australia (there are 50 of them): apac.ineta.org/Lists/UserGroups/AllItems.aspx. For the Microsoft developers and IT pros out there.If you are an expert on other technologies, there's more than likely a group for you to network - if not physical than online.

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Mar 6, 2012 7:29 AM lori lori  says:

How about everyone banding together and starting your own bank?  You know that having support people in India will not be a popular move with customers.  They will be looking for an alternative bank to work with.  With $24B in profits, there is room for a little competition. Use social media channels to build strong constituencies with your customers and build better services.  Change the game here people!  That is the professional way to act.

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Mar 6, 2012 7:31 AM hoapres hoapres  says:

More and more Americans are getting offers to work in India to train Indians.  Apparently it is not fast enough to bring in H1Bs to work with Americans to offshore jobs.  If you get an attractive offer to work in India for a year then it might be worth considering as IT is done in the US.

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Mar 6, 2012 7:51 AM John G. John G.  says:

It it very demoralizing to be forced to train others to take your job. I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers USA for many years until PwC greed set in and their millions in profits just was not enough. Over 1500 of us IT employees were laid off and forced to do the same,  train others to take our jobs. Problem is you really cant blame Tata,  Infosys or any of them, blame goes to the greed of these firms and companies that will risk anything or anybody at the cost of their dedicated, faithful personnel, shame on these companies, they should be either fined huge sums by their governments for damaging their own economies and or we should all stop doing business with them altogether.

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Mar 6, 2012 8:12 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to John G.

John G. - did you work in Tampa?  I worked for them also - but the day after we had a company meeting at a bowling alley in Ybor explaining the offshoring strategy I started putting my resume out.  I jumped ship early - about a year went by until the hammer really started to fall and people started getting buyout notices.  Sorry you didn't dodge that one.

"Over 1500 of us IT employees were laid off and forced to do the same,  train others to take our jobs."

There was no mention in the local news about the knowledge transfer.  Had people spoken up I and many others would have made it a news event.  Were you forced to sign an agreement not to speak to the media?  I wonder why, even in the message boards, it was crickets from the PwC employees.

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Mar 6, 2012 11:52 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

There is a simple solution people.  Everyone in IT at those banks should take a "personal day".  Spend the day polishing up your resume (which it already should be) and start applying elsewhere.  I'm sure there is a "shortage" in Australia too - right guys?

If everyone does it all at once, it sends a message. 

The writing is on the wall; if you are training your offshore replacement just how valuable do you believe they think you are?  I would not assist with those efforts.  Walk away with your dignity intact.

Quite often companies will offer employees a retention bonus if you stay through the process.  If it isn't a six figure incentive, consider it an insult and walk away.

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Mar 6, 2012 12:33 PM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says:

This is not going to to benefit anyone in the long run. There have already been incidents of violence against Indians in Australia. Now this policy is only going to fan the flames even further.

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Mar 7, 2012 2:27 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indian_H1B

"I think it's fair if employers make economic choices with payroll, because I sure make economic choices with my salary."

They have a right to do that - I'm not sure that is the question.  Just because something is legal doesn't make it acceptable behavior. 

There is another concept called loyalty.  I find this to be a breach of that unwritten social contract requiring some degree of loyalty between employee and employer that goes both ways.  And as such I don't believe companies who do this should expect continuity of loyalty from their employees when they leave - or even for that matter while they are transitioning.  In my view any non-compete agreements (illegal anyways) are null and void, any professional courtesies such as two weeks notice could be disregarded, and the entire circle of trust is broken. 

It's akin to cheating.  You can legally cheat on your spouse but there are consequences.  Expect a vindictive and probably brutally painful response.  Just the same, you can ask your employees to train their offshore replacements, but there will be consequences that just may outweigh any cost advantages you achieve by doing this.

As an example, I find it very likely that employees subjected to this humiliation will stop being customers of these banks, as will many in the general public outraged at the behavior.  There are other places for them to put their money and other banks they can do business with.

They should also expect to face political consequences.  When you claim to have a worker shortage and use that claim to justify the importation of cheaper labor - while at the same time sending hundreds of workers home who must suffer the indignation of training that temporary foreign labor - you must assume that the public will demand change from their representatives. 

Any growing company will have the need to hire in the future.  Possible candidates will learn how those employees are treated and many will decide that isn't the company for them.  The more often you get divorced, the harder it is to find a new spouse.  Just the same, the more employees you abuse the harder it will be to find additional employees.

Companies have a right to hire who they want, but sovereign nations have the right to determine the rules surrounding immigration and non-immigrant guest worker programs.  Companies have a pretty sweet deal going right now so they had better be careful not to do anything that could jeopardize that. 

Requiring your employees to train their offshore replacement may be penny wise, but it is also pound foolish. 

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Mar 7, 2012 2:57 AM john80224 john80224  says: in response to Indian_H1B

However they've found, sidestepped or bought rules, the fundamental model of the Indian outsourcing has been blatantly against the spirit of the law since inception.  How else can you legitimize a system that supports 90% foreign labor (while paying a discounted wage) unless the nation in question only has 1/10 the necessary pool?  Is this any more socialism than the Indian IT model has been anarchism-disregard for law for one's own benefit?

This visa program, however well intended, has continued to contribute to, even downright practice many of the egregious practices deemed illegal on the path to making the US into a nation that most of the world (once) considered a great place to be.  Age discrimination, race discrimination and indentured servitude are all part of the package deal. 

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Mar 7, 2012 3:07 AM Indian Tatti Indian Tatti  says: in response to john80224
it and li Reply
Mar 7, 2012 3:08 AM Indian Tatti Indian Tatti  says: in response to john80224

www.embedded.com/message-board/other/4237608/Asian-Century-Crime-Network-Exposed

The Asian Century Crime Network:A lose conglumerate of college-educated anti-western criminal gangs working together to hijack western company and transfer them to asian control and power.The gang member aliances are often between competing asian and muslim ethnic group.vvMost promenately Indian nationals in the semiconductor

and software industries but could include chinese, south-east asians, or muslims in other industies suchvas biotechnology, and finance.

In the semiconductor and software industries,vwith the assists of loose H1b's the decade beforevCorrupt indian crime organisation havevburdowed deep into hierachy of large well known companies by posing as a legitamate headhunter agencies.

However, instead of find real job candidates that are honest and good empolyees, they installed criminal gang members into companyvby constantly putting them at the front of the jobvcandidate pool and sending to interviews first for every open manage postion.

Once inside the company the indian gang

members started breaking the law

to overthrow the company and install their gang members.Example, installing spyware on computers and constantly breaking into

the managers cars and house in an effort to black mail or otherwise get them fired and replaced with their gang members.

Once gang members were installed in

senior managment position, they were free to leave the company and move onto infect another company by posing as legitable headhunters to another company.however,

They still maintain their senior managment position, and receive pay from the previous

company where they setup a nest.In this way, they made themselves extremely weathly by receiving pay from multiple companies simutaniously.over time, the indian crime ring has built up a network of infected companies that extends into every major technology company in the United States

with gang nests that they can enter at will

since to the company they are senior managers and empolyees with multiple company badges.Now we have entered stage two, where the gang members send out scouts to follow around people that they think will attack their network.There are causasian engineers that are contantsly

followed around and harassed by indian, asian, and arab member that try to damagement covertly and spy on them.

I have personally witnessed gang managers at qualcomm, following me to other companies such as AMD, where they have established nests and moving into attack

by pulling strings at each of these companies for exposing their criminal gang network to the public.

The favorite department of the company Indian crime ring likes to take over is the software tools methodology department, since they can put wrapper scripts around all of the software tools that a company needs to design its products.This allows them to spy on anybody by covertly modifying the scripts that everybody runs

in the company and to break and corrupt the

tools environment and file management to put the company into a constant state of engineering quigemire that they can most easy rule over.

Since, crimial organisations have started running entire branches of companies (established, 2002-2005) they have corrupted

the companies so much that little engineering work is completed in

the United States in the parts of the company they control. Reply

Mar 7, 2012 3:08 AM Indian Tatti Indian Tatti  says: in response to john80224
instead, they have converte empolyees into managers that

run broken tools and pretend to work while most of the work is performed overseas somewhere.in asia.Gang members can't be

troubled to run real engineering departments.instead, they just transfer the work from one company to the other and pretend its the work of their departments

by mungling the source code around and renaming the varibles and functions so badly that nobody can understand

the code.thus, a new infected host company is often the source of any and all new work in the gang network.

I now leave it the asian homeboys &friends to deny it and li

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Mar 7, 2012 4:27 AM Jake_Leone Jake_Leone  says: in response to Indian_H1B

Non-immigrant Visas are a government program, the government assists (subsidizes) business activity with each visa issued.  I consider the non-immigrant visa programs to be socialist.  Socialist from the mythical "World-Citizen" point of view.

BTW, what's wrong with a little socialism, Wall Street went gaga for the bailout, Detroit is employing millions and make billions this year.

Socialism is just ridiculous, unitless tag that people put on the government program they don't like.  People who unqualifyingly fling it, just aren't willing to think.

I think this is just a case of what government program serves the people better.  The one that takes your job away?  Or the one that results in more opportunity to work?

In the past, people entered countries with the intent to stay, travelling back was just too costly.  So they stayed and made a go at it, and became patriotic to their new nation, and they new they were on the line for all-debts-public.  With the Jet-Age, the U.S. has been suffering from technologic deforestation.   Outsourcing companies are a plague man, and the cure is in adjusting the government programs to not allow such idiocy to continue.

And copying without improvement, is idiocy.  It is a waste of the most valuable resource, human time (see Donald Trump on that one, where he puts a dollar value on whole U.S.).

Out-sourcing just increases worker competition for a job, and so results in unemployment.  What we need is for businesses to compete, then global hiring will increase in all countries.

Many companies are making extraordinary profits,  Apple, Oracle, IBM all are sitting on billions, the only way that money can make it back into the originating country is through debt.  That's where money goes when it isn't being invested, and the bankers turn around and make loans, loans at record low ridiculous rates (enticing, easy, debt).

But if workers return home and create businesses that compete with Western businesses, suddenly the huge profits enjoyed by Apple, IBM, Oracle... start to disappear, as they have to invest in their products to make them more competitive.

Do you think Oracle's software offering would be as good, if not for competition for SAP?  And the only way to increase that the competitive offering is to hire engineers, hence more jobs/opportunity for all, from competition, when it occurs at the business-to-business level (instead of the destructive worker-against-worker level).

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Mar 7, 2012 4:58 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to Indian Tatti

hmmm yeah... some people have better things to do than deny a sourceless post by an annonymous "Abused Engineer" on a random message board with a vampire as his avatar.

claps hand

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Mar 7, 2012 5:56 AM Indian_H1B Indian_H1B  says: in response to R. Lawson

My point is that if it were indeed penny wise and pound foolish, then corporations would have stopped doing it. The whole Indian outsourcing model would have stopped at the pilot stage.

You bring up a variety of great points on how corporations can lose ground for the salacious act of having their employees train their future replacement. My counter-point is that they have already priced in this cost based on 2 decades of information.

Countries do not have a track record of accounting for such things because they need to look at things at a higher level. Australia gets to sell education and a large of minerals to a developing country like India. An open economy allows them to steal Indian students and usurp Indian mineral manufacturers. Aussie bank employees that lose jobs to Indian replacements are collateral damage in the Australian government's view since they cannot have their pie and eat it too.

It just makes more sense for Aussies to become educators or Mining engineers. As it makes more sense for Indians to becoming English speaking low-wage white collar workers.

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Mar 7, 2012 6:20 AM Indian_H1B Indian_H1B  says: in response to john80224

Age discrimination: There's a fine line between age discrimination and skills discrimination. Some skills are just more likely to be found in younger professionals.

Race discrimination: Illegal. I seriously doubt HR teams at employers can remotely come close to playing this game.

Indentured servitude: Spot on! If H-1B is what you are referring to, it's a system steeped in this social ill. Especially if it links to a greencard. In general, the L1 is a lot less likely to lead to a case of indentured servitude than the H-1B. Guess which visa is more popular?

Look, I despise the Indian outsourcing firms for what I know about the way they treat their employees. I'm just less sympathetic to the US as a whole, or Australia as a whole. Both are rich and smart countries. If some of their citizens are being screwed over due to outsourcing, some others are gaining due to exports that these countries have. Australia especially is a huge export driven country.

I'm disappointed at the intellectual choice that Don has made in bringing in Australia of all countries. At least, in the case of the US, it is piling on a huge amount of trade imbalance each year. The key though is to realize that this trade imbalance embeds a SURPLUS in Services traded and obviously a cavernous deficit in Goods.

With Australia, no such confusion. It is a brilliant country that is cashing in on its export to the Asian tigers. Stated otherwise, it's stealing jobs from domestic producers of their exports in these countries.

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Mar 7, 2012 6:57 AM john80224 john80224  says: in response to Indian_H1B

Age discrimination: You realize you are more or less age discriminating and insinuating that everyone who started programming in the 80's only knows Cobol, everyone from the 90's VB, etc.?  The vast majority of long-time developers learned that the field constantly changes and have followed suit with their skills.  Companies have laid off 10's or 100's of thousands of developers not only with the skills they use, but the tribal knowledge no new developer from any outside place knows.  In the case of this article, what cutting edge technology do you think a bank is using that their old programmers simply don't know and can't come to grasp?  Converting the entire bank over HL7?

Race discrimination: Have you been in a large company's IT department in the past decade?  A broken legal system that is expensive and allows companies to make severance contingent on signing away one's rights is a far more powerful tool than you have yet realized.

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Mar 7, 2012 9:02 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indian_H1B

"My point is that if it were indeed penny wise and pound foolish, then corporations would have stopped doing it. "

No, they wouldn't.  Long term prosperity isn't what motivates corporations.  Remember, the people running them have strong incentives to meet quarterly and annual goals, and time and time again a CEO leaves with millions even if the company he is charged with running runs losses.

It isn't investors running corporations, and even if they were there is so much day-trading going on that it will be those saving for retirement left holding the back and licking their wounds.

Here is a great case in point.  The bankers were taking risks that would ultimately bring the financial system to its knees and should had landed them in prison.  They were living for today.  Tomorrow came - the banks got bailed out - and the bankers who lost their jobs didn't share the misfortunes of the rest of us. 

Check this out and then tell me these people were not penny wise, pound foolish: www.mint.com/blog/trends/golden-parachutes-how-the-bankers-went-down/

Actually they smartly did what anyone given their incentives to perform would do - take the money and run.  Unfortunately their gain comes as a loss to the rest of us.

Now these men aren't entrepreneurs (unless you consider robbing retirees entrepreneurial).  These were people taking risks with other people's money.  There is no reason a CEO should be walking away with millions or earning 400 times the salary of the average employee.  He isn't risking his own money.

"It just makes more sense for Aussies to become educators or Mining engineers. As it makes more sense for Indians to becoming English speaking low-wage white collar workers."

Protectionism makes more sense than that.

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Mar 7, 2012 10:46 AM john80224 john80224  says: in response to John G.

Those I don't blame are the competent, skilled employees who are given an opportunity to better their lives so they take it-for that matter, even the less competent people still trying to meet the same goal.

Tata, Infy, etc. I can very readily blame, but not because they provide a business service-the bullets to put in the gun, if you will.  They use business practices within US borders that are at very  least dubious if not downright illegal and have far more voice in American politics than US citizens do.  It is particularly conspicuous that many or most of these companies have been allowed to staff to levels around 90% non-domestic for many years.

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Mar 7, 2012 12:42 PM Indian_H1B Indian_H1B  says:

Don, isn't this borderline socialist? Much like employees are free to turn in their notices and join better prospects elsewhere, why shouldn't employers have the option to do the same?

If it's against the immigration laws of the country, that's a whole other matter. Else, it's merely a case of employers being opportunistic. Exactly, as I would be when I decide to jump ship for a 20% rise.

The Indian outsourcing model is clearly profitable for the corporations involved. I don't see how they could have survived for 2 decades and grown to large companies if that weren't the case. I personally think it's at close to its cap since cost of living in India has really caught up. Especially, real estate, commute and education.

I come from a family that has no entrepreneurs and only professionals for several generations. Nonetheless, I think it's fair if employers make economic choices with payroll, because I sure make economic choices with my salary.

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Mar 8, 2012 1:03 AM Indian_H1B Indian_H1B  says: in response to R. Lawson

If protectionism makes more sense, are you comfortable with an outcome where more American college graduates lose jobs whereas GED holders gain? This relates to my observation that the US exports services and imports goods. If we introduce protectionism, service jobs will be lost whereas manufacturing jobs (far more in comparison) will be created.

On the whole, the US will actually employ more of its people than it does; so theoretically, protectionism would be the easiest way to get to 5% unemployment (the natural rate).

Note though that the people who make laws in the US are on average college grads or higher. What part of the working population do you think they want to protect?

Parting thought: Isn't the US a better country than one that resorts to erecting trade walls? How about good old American gumption that allows it to lead to a larger college educated workforce and more intellectual property so that it can play the globalization game to its advantage?

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Mar 8, 2012 6:39 AM jake_leone jake_leone  says: in response to R. Lawson

There are a lot of takes in the ways to address the monetary destabilization that occurs from the reality that nations behave like cartels. 

Whether they do so consciously or unconsciously.

For example, Greece is an interesting country, with a unique and beautiful culture.  It decided to enter the E.U., but found itself going into debt.  Greece, now part of the E.U., cannot tarrif trade, so money goes out of the country and cannot get back in (except via loans, hah! ironic, they very thing the Greek bailout is!).

But, if people in Greece could go to Germany and have full rights (the same as in the U.S. Economic Union also know as the United States).  There would be no problem.  Workers, business people in Greece aren't lazy, they just don't have the critical mass to affect society the way it has been traditionally done in Germany.

And frankly, if Greece became just another factory, what a loss that would be for the world.  Think about it, it would be a loss, not a gain.

The answer is not homogenization.  And I agree with Lawson, countries need to control the outflow of cash, to prevent monetary destabilization.  The smart countries all have two faces on free-trade, the honest ones are afraid to declare the truth.  Money outflow needs to be controlled,   in much the same as the way the Fed controls money supply via the Prime Rate.

When we argue fair/unfair, we are all just babbling about which cultural thing we do/don't like about the political entity we are dealing with.  For the life of me, I wouldn't want to enslave people in Greece with debt, why not allow that nation to be different and put a tax on the out-flow of cash, so that it can pay it's debts and employ its people?

This Social Darwinism bologne is so pervasive that people actually think that it is ok to destroy the character of another person's country.  That culture means nothing to people viewing from the outside, is a sign that we have lost our humanity in sea of unit-less miss-application of unsustainable theories about how capitalism should work.  Like there was some global mono-culture taking over the world (maybe the mythical "World-Citizen").

Like there was some world goal, and we know it to be good.  That's because Adam Smith's unseen hand does not exist, is not proven, and is unit-less junk thinking.

Social Darwinism is junk thinking, and Detroit 2012 is clear evidence.

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Mar 8, 2012 10:00 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indian_H1B
@Indian_H1B: First let me say how much I enjoy our back and forth.  You are very good at forming convincing arguments and clearly not a stranger to debate.Fortunately for me, you are still wrong @Indian_H1B:"If we introduce protectionism, service jobs will be lost whereas manufacturing jobs (far more in comparison) will be created."First let me clarify my position on protectionism.  I said that protectionism would be better in comparison to what you suggested - which is transforming all of the Aussies into the lower-middle class.  I don't believe that all-out protectionism (restricting all trade) is a good thing, just comparatively better than your proposal.  If I had to choose between your idea and a snake bite, I would ask them to very quickly find the anti-venom.  I still find snake bites bad.Our choice isn't between absolute free trade or absolute protectionism.  Both would be highly destructive.We should encourage international trade with a goal of free trade.  The key word here is GOAL.  Protectionism (tariffs) should be used in order to achieve that goal.  Everyone believes that forest fires are bad, but the forest service routinely start controlled burns and creates forest fires.  Tariffs (protectionism) are not bad when applied correctly.  Simply put, our country would not maintain the status of super-power without protectionism.  The notion that erecting trade barriers goes against American principles is wrong.  When this nation first formed, the only taxation was in the form of tariff.  Yes, no income or corporate tax.  The question shouldn't be if we apply protectionism, but how.  If you look at our largest "free" trade agreement - NAFTA - you would think the agreement would be one page long stating something to the effect "we won't tariff you if you don't tariff us, sign here".  There are some 900 pages in NAFTA carving out PROTECTIONS for whatever industries at the time were able to influence that trade deal.I believe that was a very poor application of protectionism.  It picked winners and losers.  This is a nation first and foremost - not a market.  Our soldiers have a saying "leave no man behind".  We should not allow millions of our country-men to be left behind because they happen to be in an industry or profession without as many lobbyists on K-Street.  NAFTA was then followed by PNTR with China.  Between the two trade agreements we have lost millions of jobs to Mexico, Canada, China, and indirectly to India (I can explain that if you have questions - the reason involves currency exchange rates).So as not to make this a history lesson, I said the question was "HOW do we apply protectionism?"  The answer is to first form a goal.  I believe that free trade is a good goal.  I also believe in a sense of fair play.  To put that in sentence form:Roy Lawson: "Protectionism should be used to support the goal of free and balanced trade and/or to offset unfair or illegal actions by our global trade partners, and should be applied uniformly across all industry sectors."It is really that simple.  That's a pretty sentence, "but how should it work in practice?" you ask.  In order to achieve long-term free trade we need balanced trade.  If we don't have balanced trade, free trade will punish one side and reward the other.  That may be profitable for some, but it is not sustainable.  Eventually it will lead to financial ruin of one economy.In almost all cases an unfair trade practice will result in a trade imbalance, so we don't need to address each and every unfair trade practice if we have a uniform approach to trade applied the same across all industries.  If asked "what is the tariff on beef" or "what is the tariff on software" the answer should be the same.  The question should really be "what is the tariff on Chinese goods or Reply
Mar 8, 2012 10:01 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indian_H1B

@Indian_H1B:First let me say how much I enjoy our back and forth. You are very good at forming convincing arguments and clearly not a stranger to debate.

Fortunately for me, you are still wrong

@Indian_H1B:"If we introduce protectionism, service jobs will be lost whereas manufacturing jobs (far more in comparison) will be created."

First let me clarify my position on protectionism. I said that protectionism would be better in comparison to what you suggested - which is transforming all of the Aussies into the lower-middle class. I don't believe that all-out protectionism (restricting all trade) is a good thing, just comparatively better than your proposal. If I had to choose between your idea and a snake bite, I would ask them to very quickly find the anti-venom. I still find snake bites bad.

Our choice isn't between absolute free trade or absolute protectionism. Both would be highly destructive.

We should encourage international trade with a goal of free trade. The key word here is GOAL. Protectionism (tariffs) should be used in order to achieve that goal. Everyone believes that forest fires are bad, but the forest service routinely start controlled burns and creates forest fires. 

Tariffs (protectionism) are not bad when applied correctly. Simply put, our country would not maintain the status of super-power without protectionism. 

The notion that erecting trade barriers goes against American principles is wrong. When this nation first formed, the only taxation was in the form of tariff. Yes, no income or corporate tax. The question shouldn't be if we apply protectionism, but how. 

If you look at our largest "free" trade agreement - NAFTA - you would think the agreement would be one page long stating something to the effect "we won't tariff you if you don't tariff us, sign here". There are some 900 pages in NAFTA carving out PROTECTIONS for whatever industries at the time were able to influence that trade deal.

I believe that was a very poor application of protectionism. It picked winners and losers. This is a nation first and foremost - not a market. Our soldiers have a saying "leave no man behind". We should not allow millions of our country-men to be left behind because they happen to be in an industry or profession without as many lobbyists on K-Street. 

NAFTA was then followed by PNTR with China. Between the two trade agreements we have lost millions of jobs to Mexico, Canada, China, and indirectly to India (I can explain that if you have questions - the reason involves currency exchange rates).

So as not to make this a history lesson, I said the question was "HOW do we apply protectionism?" The answer is to first form a goal. I believe that free trade is a good goal. I also believe in a sense of fair play. To put that in sentence form:

Roy Lawson:"Protectionism should be used to support the goal of free and balanced trade and/or to offset unfair or illegal actions by our global trade partners, and should be applied uniformly across all industry sectors."

It is really that simple. That's a pretty sentence, "but how should it work in practice?" you ask. In order to achieve long-term free trade we need balanced trade.  Reply

Mar 8, 2012 10:01 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indian_H1B
If we don't have balanced trade, free trade will punish one side and reward the other. That may be profitable for some, but it is not sustainable. Eventually it will lead to financial ruin of one economy.

In almost all cases an unfair trade practice will result in a trade imbalance, so we don't need to address each and every unfair trade practice if we have a uniform approach to trade applied the same across all industries. If asked "what is the tariff on beef" or "what is the tariff on software" the answer should be the same. The question should really be "what is the tariff on Chinese goods or services?". 

What this means is that other industries are effectively punished for one industries unfair practices and those industries will collectively pressure their own government and the industry in question themselves to correct their actions.

So we must now fit these three parts together - balanced, free, and fair trade. How we do this is by setting tariffs based upon the trade deficit. Since the goal is free and balanced trade, the tariff for "balanced" trade should be 0%. We can debate what "balanced" means, but for now let's say it is +-5% trade balance. 

Let's then have a 1 to 1 match on imbalances after 5%. So a 6% trade imbalance would result in a 6% tariff, and a 10% imbalance would result in a 10% tariff. That's not much, and it would quickly go away because balanced trade would be restored. 

The general idea is to address deficits early on so they don't become massive and unsustainable, and so tariffs will naturally stay low. If our trade partners are smart, they would reciprocate. We absolutely must require that these tariffs be based on calculation, adjusted frequently, and not be meddled with by special interests.

So in summary @Indian_H1B, our nations have severely imbalanced trade caused by a handful of unfair practices (currency manipulation, disparity in labor rights, a tax loopholes/incentives to keep corporate profits offshore to name a few) and I aim to correct that. I think the majority of the problem could be corrected using the methods I suggest in this post.

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Mar 9, 2012 1:24 AM ITJob ITJob  says: in response to R. Lawson

Great suggestion Lawson but you missed one part which should be part of the main deal.

World should share the resource (natural) based on population so that every human being gets their fair share. If a particular country uses more, then they pay those who use less so the countries with less chance/opportunity to get such high priced resources are compensated. Otherwise countries which has no restriction on printing money would buy every natural resource from other poor country for cheap price whereas they never touch their own natural resources (for their future use!!!!).

Lets apply your own formula of balance trading for natural resources...lets take a classic example of minerals..China now hold major mining in Afghanistan and digging it for cheap price but those country people has nothing to buy from China. Now there is a trade imbalance not because Afghanistan doesn't import much from China but this imbalance is because China wants more from the country. So according to your formula if Afghan importing anything from China it will be taxed 1000%.

As long as countries have greed in stealing other countries natural resources you cannot apply your super simple trade imbalance. What you are trying to achieve is hit the poor country with more taxes where as wealthy country enjoys everything in the world. This simple cruel minded approach which comes from person who wants equality.

By the way when US going to accept buying oil from other currencies...oh wait that will be disaster to US economy right. Never mind we don't want to talk anything bad about US.

When suggestions coming from a person in rich country it is always comes with one point agenda...that is...."your money/resource is for me and my resource/money is for me"

Anyway nice try Lawson!!!! Better luck next time...You can't have your cake and eat it, too right?

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Mar 9, 2012 2:23 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to ITJob

I agree with some of your sentiment - and if this were one big friendly planet where everyone could live in harmony the Arabs would be sending us free oil and we would be shipping them free lumber.  It's not a big friendly planet and the best we can do is protect our own interests.  Trade laws are one way to do that.

I share some of your sentiments even if I disagree with you on how to address the problem.  I personally oppose any presence of American troops in the Arab states; clearly we would not be there if those nations did not have oil.  If you took the price of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the money spent there is enough to put solar or wind power on every American home in America and provide 100% of our energy needs at home.  That would amount to a drastic reduction in energy demand, and would greatly reduce our dependence on oil. 

However, as I've said many times, it isn't our national interests driving these wars or our policy makers.  It is in our national interest to stay out of the wars and to have a stable economy.  There is a huge industry based around both defense (really it should be called the offense industry) and around oil.  They benefit immensely when we ignore our national interests.  The same can be said about Wall-Street.

If corporations did not have so much influence, we would have less war.  It isn't the American people driving us into the Arab states.  It is corporate interests, who influence the media, who influence just enough Americans to make it politically possible to use our soldiers and our military might to do their bidding..

I stand firmly against these corporations who do not care about the safety of my family here in this country or the safety of your family in your country.  You should join me in a stand against them, because corporate greed is the source of most world struggles today.  Corporations aren't benevolent groups out for the betterment of society.  They may be necessary but that should have limits to their power and influence.

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Mar 9, 2012 4:53 AM Divya Divya  says:

Recently I was talking to a senior Infosys Official in Visa and HR department of what he feels would be the outcome of court case and he started laughing shrugging it off saying people like Jay Palmer would permanently leave the IT job and would become a blogger or an activist against outsourcing . He sounded very confident that law will follow business practices and not the other way around so what it meant is its fine to break a law if you are confident that the law is not favorable to overall business.

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Mar 10, 2012 12:22 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says:

Reply to Wakjob: I deleted your comment because of its incivility. Keep it noble.

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Mar 10, 2012 12:23 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says:

Reply to H-1b Mastermind: I deleted your comment because of its incivility. Keep it noble.

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Mar 11, 2012 4:07 AM H1b Mastermind H1b Mastermind  says: in response to Don Tennant

Don, what wrong with happiness for best and brightest to get job? Displaced worker need to update skills, it his own fault he lose job!

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Mar 11, 2012 4:24 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to H1b Mastermind

You're obviously a troll posing as a foreign IT worker in order to stir resentment and bitterness. Further comments from you will be deleted.

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Mar 25, 2012 11:38 AM jrogers222 jrogers222  says:
Apr 4, 2012 2:42 AM Business college in Australia Business college in Australia  says:

Australia is not only famous for its world-champion cricketers, but also for its world famous business colleges in Australia. Their degrees are also recognized and respected all over the world.

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Apr 19, 2012 1:36 AM Harold Smith Harold Smith  says: in response to jrogers222

Why does everyone have something to write about this, how boring you all are! However you can read more about this at www.lsappointments.com.au

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May 10, 2012 12:01 PM Joe S Joe S  says: in response to R. Lawson

I came across this article, and i can tell you that AMEREN in St. Louis brings in INDIANS sends the work in IT offshore to INFOSYS.  AMEREN has INFOSYS who collects the work away from their AMERICANS and ships it offshore.  Tens of millions of dollars going offshore to INDIA.

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Oct 16, 2012 11:06 PM Haresh Haresh  says: in response to Joe S
@Joe - I clearly see that you are not in favor of getting money transferred to India but you should also think about how American retail giants killing local Indian businesses and making profits. Most of the money is shipped back to America and you don't see any Indians making fuzz about it. I work for IT and I have worked on many American based projects. We do put our heart and soul to solve problems so please consider thinking that they are actual human and qualified people back in India working on the outsourced work. I see many comments claiming that Indian IT professionals are dumb. :) Which I think is very bold statement to make. Reply
May 30, 2013 1:19 AM Justin Grozzy Justin Grozzy  says:
I'm not disregarding the fact that flaws exist within the 457 visa but 485 visa applications are increasing exponentially and post a larger risk as these are students who can take low paid work. If you look at a 457 visa checklist http://www.457visacompared.com.au/checklist/ you can see that the 457 visa process is quite thorough unlike the 485 visa. Reply
Sep 2, 2013 4:19 AM Good Accountants At Affinity Accounting Plus Good Accountants At Affinity Accounting Plus  says:
This is ridiculous and unreasonable! Reducing costs by replacing loyal and efficient local employees with cheaper overseas manpower is not cost effective in the long run. Think of the legal hassles and the high fees, and on top of that, your company reputation. Reply

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