WashTech News: Labor News
October 16, 2007
WashTech News

AT&T Mobility Outsources Tech Jobs to IBM

Jobs could end up in India

By Marcus Courtney

Seattle- AT&T mobility informed its nationwide help desk employees that their jobs will be outsourced to IBM beginning next year. The company told the employees in an email and a nationwide conference call on October 4th. "This is to let you know that your job functions and position will be transitioned to IBM effective January 1, 2008,"read the email from Rick Felts, a Senior VP AT&T Mobility, to employees.

At least 100 employees in the Bothell, WA location will lose their jobs, and scores of other workers around the country in locations such as CA, NJ and GA will also be impacted.

IBM has a track of winning outsourcing contracts from U.S. firms then moving the work abroad to places such as India where it has almost 100,000 employees.

Some employees will be offered employment at IBM but not all. "At this time, I regret to inform you that you are not among those AT&T employees who will be receiving an IBM job offer..." continued the email sent to employees who will be laid off. "Some people are upset at the news. I kind of chuckled because we could have had a union," said an employee in Bothell who does not want to be named for fear of risking their severance package.

WashTech attempted to organize the Bothell IT department two years ago but failed in gathering a majority of workers in signing union recognition cards. Union organizers at the time raised the outsourcing issue noting that without the protections of a union contract, the company can outsource these jobs at any time. Employees responded that their jobs would never be outsourced.

AT&T's outsourcing announcement comes at a time when the globalization debate is heating up in Congress and the polls show declining support among voters for the free trade agenda. The Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees are working on legislation that would expand what is known Trade Act Adjustment Assistance. The program provides access to extended unemployment insurance, health insurance, retraining benefits as well as relocation expenses. Currently the program only applies to a narrow segment in the manufacturing sector. The reform legislation would expand it so it applies to service sector workers and allow for community and industry wide certification. In addition, several free trade agreements are stalled because the TAA legislation has not passed which is a center piece program of the new Democratic majority

The moves by AT&T to outsource IT services to IBM illustrates why an expansion of TAA benefits is necessary for workers and one of the benefits of unionization in protecting jobs from outsourcing actions.

WashTech has written and taken action on the TAA issue before. The recent action by AT&T Mobility to outsource services to IBM illustrates why an expansion of TAA benefits is necessary.



 
Talkback on Article
 
May 24, 2008, 2:14 pm
IBM will ship the AT&T jobs right out of the country once they get them.

     tom, Newark, ohio
 
Jan 18, 2008, 4:39 pm
Do you all remember several years ago when Pres Bush said outsourcing jobs was good for America and the economy? What is going to happen when these countries American industry is outsourcing to get wise and start demanding higher wages and benefits? I understand this is already happening and the outsourcing in those countries is getting moved elsewhere. Point here is that US companies could care less about workers or quality. It's about how much they can make and execs stuffing their own pocke

     Wayne Krueger, Rochester, MN
 
Oct 27, 2007, 6:07 pm
PROFIT! PROFIT! MORE PROFIT!!!!!! Seriously guys, we need to ditch this capitalist bullsh*t model pronto as well as the useless CEOs who advocate free trade and all the wonders that go with it. Forget voting, forget candidates. The elections of 2000 and 2004 were already fraudulent. Hillary Clinton is not going to fix matters but make them worse, due to her relationship with Outsourcing firms. The only thing to do is stop feeding the dragon, stop spending, stop consuming. Collapse them.

     Wolfenstein, Nashua,NH
 
Oct 23, 2007, 12:37 pm
Outsourcing without limits is tantamount to attack on the livelihood of our middle class. The current policy of outsourcing is reckless & rapidly transposing the middle class from the USA to India. Evidently, it may transpose the middle class to India from the USA, if not checked, in the next five to ten years. It is different from a regular fair trade where countries compete for their products with other countries in the international market on a level plain field. The outsourcing with India is tantamount to discrimination against American middle class because the effect is exclusively unidirectional in terms of job transfer due to the fact, one country is rich and the other is poor. If jobs are outsourced between two countries with similar per capita GDP, none of the middle class will lose their livelihood because the outsourcing trade will be happening on a level plain field. Therefore, controlling outsourcing to poor countries is not protectionism because not controlling it openly discriminates & deprives the middle class of a rich country and makes them poor, which is also not in the national interest. The aforementioned fact is the hidden & subtle difference in our trade of outsourcing with poor countries versus trade of outsourcing with rich countries. Unrestrained trade of outsourcing should not be legal because, though it is in the national & middle class interest to outsource only on a level plain field to the middle class of another rich country because the trade is reciprocal, nevertheless, it is not ethical to discriminate against a poor country, despite the fact it is not reciprocal & not on a level plain field.

     Mir, Chicago, IL
 
Oct 23, 2007, 11:48 am
It is not a good situation at all. I have come across many Indians living in the US waiting for visas who were finally able to get professional jobs in American corps through Indian Companies like Sityam & HCL. While numerous Americans with similar education are facing an uncertain situation. Major corps have acquired aforementioned Indian companies to get them Indian professional manpower to replace the local manpower. Rest of the requirement is sent to India through Infosys, Wilpro & others. Someone on the comment forum has expressed his concern that a time will come Indian companies will be outsourcing jobs to Americans, not knowing that it has already begun. Infosys and Wilpro are outsourcing some of the jobs to Americans under the pretext it costs them less. The US has indeed exclusively become a land of opportunity through Sityam, HCL, Infosys and Wilpro for Indians living in the US on H1B or the ones living in India. Americans educated & experienced have to face a double jeopardy because the globalization favors Indians exclusively. It is because the jobs are exclusively transferred in the outward direction in the wake of the globalization where as the income taxes are paid by the locals & wars are fought by the locals. The practice of massive one way job transfer has to be curtailed before it is too late and the future of Americans is also transferred out for good.

     Mir, Chicago, IL
 
Oct 22, 2007, 4:23 pm
I know some Indians friend living in the states on visa and waiting for H1B finally able to find Job in the states with the help of Indian companies who are dominating the American corporations. Many American corporations have given out the entire responsiblity for manpower hiring to Indian companies like HCL, Sityam & few others. They mostly bring their own people from India & place them in the USA. The rest of the jobs are taken a away by Wilpro & Infosys of India to India. It is tragedy for

     Alfatourist, Chicago, US
 
Oct 22, 2007, 3:23 pm
Globalization of jobs only makes sense if India, China & USA become one country,the income taxes go to one country and we all sacrifice for the freedom & defence of our nation, US of India China & America. Globalization between different sovereign countries do not have justification because the job tranfer hurts American educated only and benefits India educated only. It is unidirectional in job transfer.

     alfatourist, Chicago, IL, US
 
Oct 22, 2007, 5:32 am
The corporate greed is hard to stop. A large reason for it is coming from the MBA's out of the business schools. These people run the corporations, fundamentally uncontrolled. Their lobby money goes to Washington, so they control that town. We need elected officials that will take on these corporations. It has to start at the grass root level, have the converation with your family, co-workser, while you are standing line, wherever. We are eroding as a nation, but it can be stopped. Vote.

     George, Plano, TX
 
Oct 18, 2007, 11:18 pm
Wake up America. The social contract between business, government, and the people is broken. Business now runs govenment, and promotes their own agenda. They constantly ask us for our patriotism, but we recevie non in return. Money before citizens in the US. Greenspan actually said on CNN "We need skilled immigration to the US in order to bring the cost of skilled labor in line with the rest of the world." IE-we get paid too much. This economy is collapsing. Time to take our govt back.

     Chris, New York
 
Oct 18, 2007, 4:25 pm
It's a shame that many of the rights & priveleges workers have fought for the last 50-60 yrs. have been slowly eroded away by those of us who have been apathetic or asleep. Those of you who think unions are outdated or useless need to give back every raise, every holiday, every vacation, every benefit, etc. When will we say enough is enough?

     Bob, Waxhaw,NC
 
Oct 18, 2007, 2:12 pm
The employees in India claim they speak english, but the truth is that they only think they can. I tried for over 2 hours to get a point across to one of their technicans and he understood the words but not the meaning. I even tried to get sarcastic with him and he didn't get it. The final solution to my problem was to buy tech support. Since then when I call for tech support, I ask if they are located in the U.S. and if not I hang up and dial till I get someone in this country.

     Maggie Carroll, Longview, WA , U.S.A.
 
Oct 18, 2007, 12:21 pm
I used to work at IBM and they are the masters of outsourcing contracts that they assign to off-shore locals. Instead of giving work to their own employees they will off-shore an outsourcing deal. Wake up America NOBODY cares about your helpdesk, IT operations, etc like your OWN employees. Don't think for one second that a hired gun from IBM or CSC has the same concern for your company as an employee.

     John, Port Jefferson, NY
 
Oct 17, 2007, 2:02 pm
These coporations have the right to run their business the way they see fit. They are in business to make money. But....the consumer has the last word. Stop using their products and services. Tell all your family and friends to stop doing buisness with this company. We all want to sit here and complain, how about taking action no matter how small. It starts with us. I for one will find another company to do business with once my contract has expired (next year), you all should do the same.

     Al, Houston, TX
 
Oct 17, 2007, 12:53 pm
While not an IT employee, I can relate to your concerns. Perhaps we need to stop supporting companies that outsource jobs. It's time for Americans to take a stand and fight for our jobs, or we will become that Third World nation that India and China outsource its low paying jobs to.

     Janet, USA
 
Oct 17, 2007, 9:11 am
Nothing appears to be working for anyone these days. It may be time to start thinking about boycotting the products and services these huge corporations provide. They want to feed you. They want to clothe you. They want your money, or the little money you have. While this country ever learn? Have you done your shopping today... Stand firm or watch it all sail away (to India or China)...

     DVilla99, Yoder, CO
 
Oct 17, 2007, 8:37 am
How will anything get funded in the government when such a large number of the taxpayers are out of work and drawing on tax funded assistance and not working and paying taxes?

     Wesley, Dallas, USA
 
Oct 17, 2007, 7:11 am
What else would you expect from IBM they did this to their own employees why not AT&T's. If somehow you get one of the IBM jobs after a year of hard work and an expected raise don't hold your breath asking for a raise that is like asking to be fired. This all comes down to the consumer who vote with there purses. Companies that outsourse american jobs need to feel the pinch and to they feel it this crap will continue. Don't expect congress or the democrats to help they are also globalists.

     Norm Petereit, Stoneham MA USA
 
Oct 16, 2007, 10:21 pm
IT looks like that AT&T will never ever get my business and I dont mean just their mibility, but any service. Its time we start protecting our people here in the USA! Unless of course all we are about is the bottom line at the expense of the american worker. We cant afford all of this off shoring, we need to worry about our country 1st!

     pete panos, grapevine, tx
 
Oct 16, 2007, 8:53 pm
This is only the tip of the iceberg, just wait until the Law of the Sea Treaty is passed by the Senate. We will lose our sovereignty then nothing else will matter.

     kathryn, Agoura Hills, CA
 
Oct 16, 2007, 8:04 pm
If this is a service economy, why do we send service jobs overseas. If anybody says that it doesn't matter where somebody is as long as they can help you, tell them that it doesn't matter how smart the operator is if you can't understand what they are saying.

     Charlie,
 
Oct 16, 2007, 7:53 pm
If Americans don't wake up we will soon become the third world country that India outsources their jobs to. I work for ATT and between outsourcing and automated calls I assume I will be losing my job shortly. Customers always complain to the employees; they need to start complaining to Corporate headquarters for all of these companies if anything is ever going to change.

     Terry, Sherman Oaks, Ca
 
Oct 16, 2007, 7:22 pm
As a former Sprint employee who was offered a 'long term' job with IBM, I can only advise those getting jobs to start saving as much as possible, because after one year, you can count on receiving a letter from IBM informing you of your impending layoff, and, oh yes, if you want more than 2 weeks severance, be prepared to train your Indian replacements!

     Sandy, Olathe USA
 
Oct 16, 2007, 6:09 pm
I helped work on that campaign at the IT unit. It's a shame they didn't get the union protection when they could.

     Todd, Seattle, USA
 
Oct 16, 2007, 5:30 pm
They have also outsourced their core business IT Mainframe jobs to IBM. Those job are all management (so they could keep the union out). So from what I understand the core legacy applications like SORD, BOSS etc operations and application support have all been or are in the process of being outsourced to IBM. Most of the managers I know are going but of course their jobs are only guaranteed for 6 months and most are not quite ready for retirement so we don't know yet what will happen with th

     Debbie W.,
 
Oct 16, 2007, 4:58 pm
Those companies that think they can replicate the US response to a foreign country...could those companies make separate offerings such as pay nothing and be assisted via India, Phillippines, etc. or pay $$ by the call/hour or etc. and have the support stay in the US. This would give a choice to those needing the assistance. My own experience with DELL has been a disaster

     Don Williams, Phoenix USA
 
Oct 16, 2007, 2:34 pm
Lets all get together and make sure no one we know or have access to uses this crappy UNAMERICAN company. Sprint, and IBM, too! If we can erode their customer base substantially, we can get the board to lay off all these garbage uncaring, un-American decision makers. Evey taxpayer job eroded comes back as money going offshore, and increased borrowing by the Gov't. Go with someone like T-mobile, who do english. everyone call in and tell them why we are switching! Have a nice day!

     dennis, lakeville MN
 
Oct 16, 2007, 1:44 pm
"The reform legislation would expand it so it applies to service sector workers and allow for community and industry wide certification. In addition, several free trade agreements are stalled because the TAA legislation has not passed which is a center piece program of the new Democratic majority " TAA legislation is a band-aid on a cancer and an admission to failure of the "free trade" agenda. What alternatives are left for "displaced" workers so as not to be just displaced again? Would'nt it be better to just stall the trade agreements altogether by any means? Don't let the politicians hoodwink us by putting lipstick on a pig

     Marsha Krantz, St. Paul MN
 
Oct 16, 2007, 1:38 pm
IBM will outsource the work to India. We see that companies are doing this kind of cheating with workers of their own country, then we need to make sure that we should stop all kind of H-1B and L1 visa for foreign workers. There already 12 million foreign workers in USA. We can not loose job in both directions. It is destroying american middle class and more forclosure of houses, more destruction of middle class, more suicides, more kids out of school.

     shahid sheikh, jacksonville, FL, USA
 
Oct 16, 2007, 1:11 pm
When will the working middle class figure out that globalizaton means fire all the americans yo can, and send their jobs to India, China and any place else where labor is cheap, and how cares about this country and what happens to its middle class. It is obvious that is where corporate America is. I work for many large corporate accounts doing contract programming and they have said exactly that, in so many words.

     ALLEN COHEN, ST PETE BEACH, U.S.A.
 
Oct 16, 2007, 12:39 pm
Are you making strides to extend the unionization to other areas besides just Washington. I'm currently a software developer, and I would love to see the field unionize.

     Adam, Boston, US
 
Oct 16, 2007, 12:37 pm
Dear Sirs, This is the second time I am writing to tell you that TAA has already been expanded to include computer programmers whose job has been offshored. This was effective March 24, 2006. Please see the attached link from the Dept. of Labor. http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/taa/taadecisions/taadecision.cfm?53209 At the same time our CSC group was approved, certain employees of IBM were also approved. Please 'Google' on TA-W-53209. I am available for further info. Thanks. Mark Bain

     Mark Bain, Bloomfield, CT
 
Oct 16, 2007, 12:28 pm
AT&T Mobility was Cingular, as we all know. When I was hired on at Cingular, I was also one who was guarentied that outsourcing would never happen. The explaination was that Cingular had already tried it once and failed, never to do that again. Now with AT&T and the helm, nothing is the same as far as Cingulars' results. In my oppinion, I don't feel that outsourcing is the solution to anything. The more of us here in the states are outsourced, the fewer amenaties we will keep. A wireless phone.

     Colleen Jarman, ARLINGTON, UNITED STATES
 
Oct 16, 2007, 11:52 am
that their jobs will be outsourced to IBM beginning next year. The company told the employees in an email and a nationwide conference call on October 4th. "This is to let you know that your job functions and position will be transitioned to IBM effective January 1, 2008,"read the email from Rick Felts, a Senior VP AT&T Mobility, to employees. At least 100 employees in the Bothell, WA location will lose their jobs, and scores of other workers around the country in locations such as CA, NJ and GA will also be impacted. IBM has a track of winning outsourcing contracts from U.S. firms then moving the work abroad to places such as India where it has almost 100,000 employees. Some employees will be offered employment at IBM but not all. "At this time, I regret to inform you that you are not among those AT&T employees who will be receiving an IBM job offer..." continued the email sent to employees who will be laid off. "Some people are upset at the news. I kind of chuckled because we could have had a union," said an employee in Bothell who does not want to be named for fear of risking their severance package. WashTech attempted to organize the Bothell IT department two years ago but failed in gathering a majority of workers in signing union recognition cards. Union organizers at the time raised the outsourcing issue noting that without the protections of a union contract, the company can outsource these jobs at any time. Employees responded that their jobs would never be outsourced.

     michael maggied, mesa usa
 
Oct 16, 2007, 11:49 am
When will coroperate greed end? The companies are headlong racing to making the United States a third rate country by underminding the productive of it own resources. Selling jobs to other counties will end the prosperty of the workers that made for a strong America.The education given here is coming back to haunt us. Take leardership and demand the strong steps needed to save the tax base and our country first.When taxes are reduced so will the power of this country.Wake up!!!!

     David Williams, Palmer, Texas
 
Oct 16, 2007, 11:48 am
How many hard working Americans are going to lose their jobs before they realize the ONLY real protection they may have against OUTSOURCING overseas is a UNION!!!! Go back in your history books and read about the Industrial revolution and how and why unions were formed. Businesses are in this to make money for the owners and stockholders, the majority do not really care how the employees live as long as they are making money. WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!

     Patti, Altoona, Bliar