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Information about the Effects of Immigration, Outsourcing and Free Trade on Georgia


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More American jobs to India by Bank of America ...
by Mike Crane

Although the following job loss is a bit dated, the trend has continued. It is another example of an American company moving American software development jobs to a foreign country, this time India.

We are told that this is good for us. It is so good for us that your government even uses your tax dollars to send American jobs to foreign countries, then either borrows money in your name or collects taxes from you to support the effects on society.

Some ask, why don't we hear more about this?

The article below gives a bit of insight. Look at how Bank of America treats its employees who were laid off:

Laid-off employees said they have been asked to sign two sets of papers: One states that the employee will receive two weeks' severance for every year he or she worked for the bank. The other says severance will be canceled if the employees talk to the media or quit before a certain date. They've also been asked to help train their Indian counterparts before their final day.

So when you dive by the red, white and blue logo of Bank of America, remember their preference for citizens of India over our own country.

Meanwhile, the outflow of American jobs continues ...

How To Stay Informed

BofA is sending more work abroad

Technology, operations jobs on chopping block

Bank of America Corp. plans to cut technology and operations jobs through the end of 2003 and, in the process, replace some employees with lower-cost labor overseas.

The Charlotte-based bank has already slashed 12.7 percent of its nationwide technology and operations work force to 22,000 this month from 25,200 in 2001. But more cuts are planned, bank spokeswoman Lisa Gagnon confirmed Monday.

"We're going to be gradually reducing staff in technology and operations only," said Gagnon. "We're working hard to make decisions really quickly and eliminate the uncertainty. It's too early to know who and what areas will be affected."

Since last October, 75 positions at the bank have been cut, she said, because the bank is sending to India software programming that is now done in-house. Some employees say they are worried about their future and are upset that foreign firms are taking their jobs.

The overall cuts are part of the bank's ongoing strategy to reduce expenses nationwide. Outsourcing some technology functions, such as software programming, is a small portion of that strategy, Gagnon said. Other jobs that fall into the technology and operations area include call center workers and business analysts.

Bank of America, the nation's largest consumer bank, has repeatedly declined to say how many jobs will be lost in its cost-cutting effort. The bank has shrunk its work force by 6.7 percent during the past 12 months to 134,135 nationwide from 143,824.

Gagnon said the technology and operations area is considering all options, including a hiring freeze, cutting travel expenses and layoffs.

In March, The Observer first reported the bank's plans to outsource less than 5 percent of its technology operations to overseas companies. Executives at Bank of America toured India earlier this month. The bank has contracts with India technology giants Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.

The bank joins an increasing number of U.S. companies signing contracts with India's technology firms to save money.

A recent survey of Fortune 1000 chief information officers showed that the number of companies outsourcing more than 3 percent of their information technology budget to India increased to 62 percent in 2001 from 32 percent in 2000.

The practice of outsourcing to India is also becoming widespread within the financial industry, with Fidelity Investments and First USA Bank being just a couple of the many outsourcing with Infosys, according the company.

Charlotte's other big bank, Wachovia Corp., has said it has no plans to send significant amount of technology work overseas, but has performed some development and testing offshore.

Many of Bank of America's technology employees are at Charlotte's Gateway Village, a main hub of Bank of America's technology operations.

"The workplace is in turmoil and nobody is feeling safe," one bank employee said in an interview by e-mail, asking that his name not be printed for fear of losing his job.

Printouts of an internal Web site posting earlier this month, obtained by The Observer, confirm layoffs in the technology and operations area and address employee concerns.

"Recently, you might have heard that a few associates were displaced. This is true," states a posting by bank manager David White. "It is also true that there could be future impacts. ... We are in an adjustment phase, and I understand that it can be unnerving.

"I apologize for that, but please know we are doing what is best for the organization."

After a series of acquisitions, the bank has been consolidating its operations and focusing on improving its coast-to-coast business. In the economic slump, the bank has performed well compared with its peers.

Last week, it beat analysts' estimates and reported a third-quarter net income of $2.24 billion, or $1.45 per share, up from $841 million, or $0.51 per share, reported a year ago.

Employee unrest

Some of the company's technology employees, many of them programmers with an average salary of $70,000 to $100,000, say they are waiting to see who will lose their jobs next.

Laid-off employees said they have been asked to sign two sets of papers: One states that the employee will receive two weeks' severance for every year he or she worked for the bank. The other says severance will be canceled if the employees talk to the media or quit before a certain date. They've also been asked to help train their Indian counterparts before their final day.

A small group of current and former employees told The Observer last week it was difficult to work with their futures being uncertain. They worried about finding work and the prospect of leaving Charlotte in search of high-tech jobs. A few even talked of leaving the technology world.

"The days of being a developer at Bank of America are numbered," said a programmer worried about supporting a wife and children.

The employees declined to give their names on the record, for fear of losing their jobs or severance.

A few were sipping beers, saying that it didn't matter what they did because their jobs were gone anyway.

"I call it being fired," one programmer said.

Local Wachovia Corp. economist Mark Vitner said that while the employment rate in Charlotte is better than it was six months month ago, it's still relatively tough to find high-paying jobs. There aren't a lot of big companies, such as Bank of America, doing large-scale hiring, he said.

Another technology and operations employee is angry that a bank with a red, white and blue logo is taking jobs away from Americans by outsourcing to foreign companies.

The Charlotte-area resident was willing to have his name published last week; then, on Monday, he learned his job was being eliminated in the downsizing of his division. His severance is being negotiated.

"I don't think this bank has the right to wrap itself in an American flag," he said. "I feel very strongly from a patriotic and love-of-Charlotte point-of-view that this is something that Charlotte needs to know about."

Gagnon, the bank spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Source: http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/industries/banking/4338944.htm

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