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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who Mourns for Adonais?

This one is going to stay somewhat cryptic for reasons that I will not explain. However I am compelled to at least make a comment.

I know of a major employer in the region has outsourced some of its work to Asia, something that has become not uncommon these days. This employer has several locations in the United States and an office in another city was also impacted by this recent outsourcing. The numbers involved are not of Cinram size, but they also don't just impact a handful of folks either.

Was this news reported in any of the local newspapers? Not that I can tell, and I have been looking.

It was, however, reported in the newspaper of that other city impacted by the action.

Why wasn't it reported? I don't know for sure, but I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that the Scranton Times doesn't exactly have what I would call robust business reporting. I'd also suggest that the local newspaper tends to downplay news from certain areas and over-hype news from others. For example, had 25 jobs at Tobyhanna Army Depot been moved to Asia then this would have been big news. Hell, the mere threat of a janitor being laid off at TOAD gets a mention in the Scranton Times. 15 get impacted and the local Chamber of Commerce commences an all-out job-saving campaign. Now in this particular situation the employer is much smaller that TOAD, but the number out-sourced is greater than 25.

None of this matters all that much to the individuals who will be losing their jobs. That's the real story here...that this deeply human event is happening...and it's my hope that the local newspaper will actually make the choice to give this a mention.


Sean said...

So much more needs to be said....

Anonymous said...

Root cause? Is it the inflated ambitions of a low level VP that's trying to make a name for herself by moving 5 widgets from this column and putting it over there where they won't find it for a couple of years? Or is it a larger problem where the general cost of living in th US forces the average American worker to "need" a larger salary? Thus making it mathematical because offshore cost of living is so much less?

I don't think that it's necessarily that American workers WOULDN'T do it for less if given the option. They just can't because the pittance we would have to pay to meet the offshore pay would probably be less than they can get on welfare (and welfare is a whole other discussion).

Anonymous said...

I vote for inflated ambitions of a low level VP trying to make herself look good at the expense of all the turtles whose backs she is standing on as they are slowly crushed to death.

Anonymous said...

Coupla' comments:

Love the usual line to justify such actions: "Our competitors are doing the same." Every parent has been unravelling that argument since the invention of bridges!

I was recently in an open forum with a vendor and the topic of outsourcing was brought up. It rarely saves enough money to offset the devastation to morale and loss of experience. More often than not the work is second-rate but it's still cheaper to fix it than have an American do it right the first time.

Actions like this are so much bigger than even a low level VP.

Executives are temporary and they know it. They rarely stay with a company for more than a few years and move on to greener pastures; never having to deal with the coming destruction they caused. Of course this means they inherit a mess at the aforementioned greener pastures and use these methods to continue the downward spiral.