HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS? – AT 9:48 A.M. ET: Talk about chickens coming home to roost. From WaPo:
New York — Ray Capuana paces the rows of cubicles in a haggard high-rise a stone’s throw from Wall Street as his people hustle the phones and hope for a bonus check.
His employees are not bond traders, though. They are call center workers. Many are African Americans without college degrees. Some lack high school diplomas. They work for a Mumbai-based company called Aegis Communications.
India’s outsourcing giants — faced with rising wages at home — have looked for growth opportunities in the United States. But with Washington crimping visas for visiting Indian workers, some companies such as Aegis are slowly hiring workers in North America, where their largest corporate customers are based. In this evolution, outsourcing has come home.
Capuana, a manager for Aegis in New York, motivates this U.S. office with dress-down days and the prospect that workers could, one day, earn a stint training call center workers in Goa, India. One of his tasks is to staff 176 cubicles, where workers make or take calls for customers of prescription drug plans or Medicare contracts and enter and verify information. The pay runs $12 to $14 an hour, with bonus checks of up to $730 a month.
COMMENT: The good news is that we're gettiong some jobs here. The bad news is that they're low-paying jobs.
I'm delighted that some jobs are coming home, but we really don't want a third-world economy here. We can avoid it if we understand that countries that succeed economically are countries that make things. Rebuilding our manufacturing base, with some much-needed cooperation between management and labor, must be one of our highest priorities. I don't see that priority at work.
May 21, 2011