The Man stiffs us – Indian Style

Many of you might have read that Ford and GM are going to be cutting a lot of jobs to keep up with the competition and many more of you are aware of the technology driven resurgence of the Indian economy. The connection might not be apparent but there is definitely one if you look below the surface.

I am definitely pro out-sourcing (even though one day my job might be on the line), it is the price you pay to have a capitalistic economy. And the past few years have out-sourcing has been specially good to India. Kids my age are earning what their parents would have earned when they retired (If they were lucky). This has been driven by the information technology industry to a large extent. But the rosy picture belies the harsh well guarded truth, in a word sweat shops have been out sourced to the developing nations by the developed nations.

The bottom line has forced the companies out source, but I still can’t figure out what motivates the off shoring companies to use sweat shops and screw(pardon my French) their own country men!

The source of all this rage is more close at heart… recently the vendor that I am contracted through to MasterCard was bought over by Wipro, one of top three technology/out sourcing companies in India. Though the change of guard did not affect me, it definitely had a big impact on their direct employees (Most of whom were expecting a better deal from such a well know /recognized company. The first transition meeting went on pretty good I guess, but then that was just a charade (Now I know what they teach in business school).

Yesterday one of colleagues who is a direct employee (Now called a wiproite) heard from them, the new package that they were getting. He was pretty let down, not only did they rescind from their word at the first meeting, they pretty much screwed(for lack of a better word) the employees. Their overtime was taken away (Even though my friend spends most of his time at the office), they sick leave was taken away and the vacation days was reduced drastically. To add insult to injury, their insurance was downgraded so they had to bear a part of the month payment.

This is not a isolated incident, my friends working for the technology companies either here or in India are almost slaves to the company. The salary is definitely better than any other business sector, but money does not make all things right. A lot of my friends working both in India and the US work from 7:30 to 8:00 in the morning to 11:00 in the night and a lot of times even later. All this while receiving only 1/5 th of the hourly rate that their companies get paid for them.

My mentioning of sweat shops might be a little exaggerated in the technology context (try making an employee work such hours with no compensation in a US based company), but it still holds good for the other industries like manufacturing (Walmart is a well known exporter of the sweat shops to China). The companies in the developed countries might not be legally in the black but ethically they are. Meanwhile the companies in third world countries are making hay before legislation (often ineffective) is brought in.

The reason I tied Ford and GM to this situation is because they are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They paid too much and are now paying for it. Believe it or not they have one employee working for every three retirees they are supporting, not a good ratio I should say. This is also the reason that these new age companies use for the maltreatment of their employees. The funny part is that they keep complaining about the attrition rate of their employee, what do they expect … uncomplaining bots ??

For all the buster of the top executives, its the working class that gets short changed on both ends of the spectrum!

Some food for thought …
How much would buy a woman for … 20$s?
If you are on the path to a tummy tuck like me
Another reason I am all for the death penalty

History doth repeat itself!!!


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