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Businesses United States IT

IT Workers Facing Layoffs Jolted By CEO's Message (computerworld.com) 414

HCSC recently announced layoffs for more than 500 IT workers, and expects them to train their replacements from an India-based contractor. But a few days earlier, CEO Paula Steiner said, "As full-time retiring baby boomers move on to their next chapter, the makeup of our organization will consist more of young and non-traditional workers, such as part-time workers or contractors." dcblogs quotes ComputerWorld: What Steiner didn't say in the employee broadcast is that some of the baby boomers moving "on to the next chapter" are being pushed out the door. "Obviously not all of us are 'retiring' -- a bunch of us are being thrown under the bus," said one older employee.
The insurance provider argues that its members want easier technology solutions that "help keep rising costs in check. Our IT teams are being transformed...focusing on those and other member needs." But Slashdot reader ErichTheRed writes: Having a CEO actually say in public that their company wants to engage in age discrimination and eliminate full-time employment, rather than just carry out the work in secret, is new to me... for those mid- to late-career technical folks, how have you managed to adjust to new realities like this?
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IT Workers Facing Layoffs Jolted By CEO's Message

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  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday November 06, 2016 @02:38AM (#53221879) Homepage

    Those H1B's are just there to "temporarily" fill a lack of skilled workers.

    • Yea, skilled workers they've been systematically eliminating as though they were threats...

      • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @02:48AM (#53221913)

        A 200,000/year H-1B quota is why the tech companies have been writing checks to the Clinton Foundation. The web monkeys and cubicle trolls of Slashdot are about to vote themselves out of their own industry.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

          You realize trump imported illegal labor to build his buildings and bought foreign steel as well.

          All the politics in the world won't stop the fact that labor at 33% of the price is very attractive. You might stop H1B's (they sort of suck anyway) but then they'll just offshore. Or use L1 visas. Or some other dodge. Or buy a package and just give up a half dozen features they felt were mandatory until they realized they'd have to pay a full time person to support it.

          • by just___giver ( 708926 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @05:35AM (#53222279)
            I was asked to train my replacement from India about one year ago. I gave my manager a list of everything they needed to know. They wanted me to do sessions to train them. I said fine, I need prep time for each session and I'm only doing one a day. They screen recorded each session and it took about a hundred hours over three months. I buried them in minutia. If anyone wants to go through it or search it there's a hundred hours of tedious monotone instruction. It's been eight months since I left, no significant features committed to source control. We were doing major releases every month previously. They are thinking of bringing us back now but it is too late we've all moved on to better work. Company is losing millions a year by not having all of their refineries using this custom system that's been eight years in development. Tens of millions to re write from scratch. I've heard they are considering bringing us back but we have all moved on to better things now.
            • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @08:37AM (#53222723)

              Yes this is a common misconception that IT is a commodity that can be easily outsourced like payroll or janitorial services. At first it was all "let s bring IBM in" then when companies realized that vendors don't care and are not effective on the long run, they've turned to cheap labor, thinking that they could replace the pawns without handing things over to a vendor.

              The fun part is that the people who made those decisions cashed in their bonuses and laughed all their way to the bank.

            • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
              Yep, I hope as many people who are in this situation as possible engage in "malicious compliance". Do exactly what you're asked to do, but ensure that in doing so you hamper the ability of your (probably incompetent or at least insufficiently trained) replacement to do your job.
            • Wrong solution. (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Look - companies can and should be able to outsource their IT depts - particularly if the C level execs have no experience in IT.

              quote:
              It's been eight months since I left, no significant features committed to source control. We were doing major releases every month previously. They are thinking of bringing us back now but it is too late we've all moved on to better work. Company is losing millions a year by not having all of their refineries using this custom system that's been eight years in development. T

          • What point is this even trying to make. The president does not lead the nation by historic example. No one thinks Trump will just sit in a big chair during his presidency and inspire change. Trump followed the law, but wants change trade law and work visa laws to stop that sort of thing in the future. Just like he followed the current tax law, but wants to change that as well.

            • by geoskd ( 321194 )

              Trump followed the law, but wants change trade law and work visa laws to stop that sort of thing in the future.

              No, Trump broke the law [time.com], and he got away with it because of his ability to bribe his way out. He is and always has been the worst kind of filth this country can produce. He continues to thrive because so many Americans are so clueless as to the ways the world really works, that they will let him say and do anything he wants without consequences. Trumps remarkable success this election season is proof positive that Democracy is a failure. Sooner or later, the ignorant masses will do something monumentally se

          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            All the politics in the world won't stop the fact that labor at 33% of the price is very attractive. You might stop H1B's (they sort of suck anyway) but then they'll just offshore. Or use L1 visas. Or some other dodge. Or buy a package and just give up a half dozen features they felt were mandatory until they realized they'd have to pay a full time person to support it.

            Well, if they genuinely get the same benefit at 1/3rd the cost you're in trouble. More often the case is that you get the hours, but productivity is much lower in ways that are very hard to quantify and less immediately apparent. You can spend 10x as long working around bad design and bad code and chasing bugs and corrupted data as just getting it right. But "getting it right" isn't going to show up in any MBA's spreadsheet. Wage costs cut, margins up, long term projects fail, quality falls, customers flee

        • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @02:57AM (#53221935)

          A 200,000/year H-1B quota is why the tech companies have been writing checks to the Clinton Foundation. The web monkeys and cubicle trolls of Slashdot are about to vote themselves out of their own industry.

          Because Clinton and the Democrats have the power to change the quota all on their own.... right? Oh wait, that's congress.... controlled by Republicans... and you think that a Trump presidency would do anything about it?

          I'm not saying that Clinton will either. But if you want change, start with voting in a Congress that will fix it.

          • by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @06:17AM (#53222377)

            The problem with bulk immigration, whether legal or illegal, has always been that both parties have a paradoxical alignment.

            Traditionally the Republicans have been OK with it because it served the interests of corporations and big agriculture by pushing down labor costs and helping profitability. The existing system is OK because as long as the immigrants are non-citizens, they can't be a voting threat and their semi-legal to illegal status makes them disposable or willing to submit to hostile working conditions. This is why the Republicans have never done anything about illegal immigration or H1B abuse.

            The Democrats have been in favor of it because it mollifies their progressive constituency's desire for social justice and multiculturalism and they believe it will give them a long term demographic base that will vote Democratic. Democrats also want to cozy up to Silicon Valley, which at least on the corporate side, is in favor of H1Bs, too.

            But this has started to unravel for Republicans -- a non-trivial bloc of voters has seen through their strategy as a jobs replacement program and demanded better border enforcement. This was manageable for Republicans when they had a bottled up Tea Party segment who could scream about illegals but not do anything, but that genie has escaped the bottle and now they have Trump.

            It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Republican establishment would back a Hillary move to expand H1Bs as a way to regain political power and try to evict the Trumpistas.

            What I'm curious about is when immigration policy begins to unravel for Democrats. I'm amazed to this day that Black politicos haven't called the Democrats on immigration. It's worst effect is on African Americans who have seen Mexicans completely take over low-skilled, entry level jobs. And by rotting out the base of technical jobs that don't require professional degrees, Democrats have basically been gutting the kind of employment that allows people to pull themselves into middle class jobs and lifestyles, especially African Americans, who lack the connections and family history to gain entry to these jobs any other way.

            I think the support Bernie Sanders had shows that Clinton globalization economics isn't universally popular, as does her inability to outpoll even Trump by 40 points.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by amiga3D ( 567632 )

            Why do you think the elite Republican insiders hate Trump? Why do you think they support HRC? Why do you think all the big money Republican donors are giving money to Hilliary? The Republican insiders hate Trump as much if not more than they do Hilliary. They actually don't hate Hilliary, they're just jealous of her because she's the favorite of all the rotten, corrupt bankers and corporate masters. Keep thinking that Democrats are really all that different from Republicans.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2016 @03:09AM (#53221963)

          A 200,000/year H-1B quota is why the tech companies have been writing checks to the Clinton Foundation.

          Heh, but Trump even outsourced his wife

          • Heh, but Trump even outsourced his wife

            . . . so is there a secret video of the old wife training the new wife . . . ? Hillary would love to get her hands on that one!

          • Now THAT'S my kind of outsourcing. His wife is extremely smart and a talented business woman in her own right. That's the equivalent of hitting up Wipro and getting a rockstar programmer. Sadly, what you usually get with the body shops is more akin to a Rosie O'Donnell.

        • by gatkinso ( 15975 )

          Well, if we are talking H-1B abuse, consider Trump's WIFE came in on an H-1B.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by lgw ( 121541 )

      So, wait, is opposing unlimited immigration racist Trumphitlerism, or rational self interest today? Slashdot groupthink seems very confused on this one. On even-numbered stories, the only reason anyone could oppose immigration is being a racist Trump-supporter. On odd-numbered stories, it's totally rational and those big corporations are lying sociopaths.

      Oh, wait, I get it: immigration is fine when it's other people's jobs, but it's totally a tool of the sociopathic corporations when it's our jobs at ris

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        So, wait, is opposing unlimited immigration racist Trumphitlerism, or rational self interest today? Slashdot groupthink seems very confused on this one.

        Depends, did you lose your job? Then it's rational self interest. It's Trumphitlerism otherwise, always is. That's why you should vote Hillary. By the way... Today is November 9th, they're outsourcing your job in 2 weeks and you're going to be training your replacement. They're from Bangalore so you'd better use small english words or get an interpreter.

        Oh, wait, I get it: immigration is fine when it's other people's jobs, but it's totally a tool of the sociopathic corporations when it's our jobs at risk. Perfectly consistent after all.

        Of course it is. Going by your UID, your age is probably close to mine. You'll also remember all that smugness from white collar workers and media p

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Depends, did you lose your job? Then it's rational self interest. It's Trumphitlerism otherwise, always is.

          So, if your neighbor or brother lost his job, in a similar line of work, it's totally irrational to think you're next? I think this has stopped making sense again.

          You'll also remember all that smugness from white collar workers and media pundits who said to the skilled/unskilled/trade workers back in the 1980's and 90's that "if they didn't want to lose their jobs, they should have turned around and gotten white collar jobs like theirs.

          Well, media pundits will say anything, as long as it's stupid and wrong, but the skilled trades have always been going strong. It was manufacturing jobs that people were being steered away from as far as I recall, and that was and remains good advice.

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday November 06, 2016 @04:39AM (#53222159) Homepage

            So, if your neighbor or brother lost his job, in a similar line of work, it's totally irrational to think you're next? I think this has stopped making sense again.

            Yes, it's irrational. Didn't you listen to what the political pundits who are pro-establishment, and business owners who are eyeing 3rd world shitholes to export your job to said?

            Well, media pundits will say anything, as long as it's stupid and wrong, but the skilled trades have always been going strong. It was manufacturing jobs that people were being steered away from as far as I recall, and that was and remains good advice.

            Yes, and no. Pundits will say a lot of things to hit a lot of bases to give them a good view in the eyes of other pundits. Skilled trades have been hit or miss for the last 30 years, you *might* hit it good if you got in during the 90's when there was a need for electricians or plumbers. And by the 00's, they were being laid off in droves. If you got in early as a mechanic in the 90's and bought out some guys shop ~6-8 years after your apprenticeship ended you were also likely in a good spot. If you didn't it could be very hit or miss depending on the region. Part of the reason there has been a shortage in some trades, is because both government levels(federal and provincial/state), have said "trades are outdated, you don't need do THOSE." Of course trades aren't safe from imported labor either. Here's an example from Canada [fortmcmurraytoday.com] where skilled tradesman [powerengineercentral.ca] were laid off and replaced with 3rd world labor. [ntfw.ca] And the effects of it. [thinkpol.ca]

            Manufacturing were just the first ones hit, and hit hard. But now you can see imported labor and people being laid off. From janitorial staff to machinists, and IT(at any level) to accountants and legal.

      • If you're going to try to argue against what other people believe, try actually arguing against what they believe, rather than inventing an extreme parody and arguing against that. It's trickier because you can't simply dismiss it with blind tribalism, but it's better all round.

      • by Bongo ( 13261 )

        So, wait, is opposing unlimited immigration racist Trumphitlerism, or rational self interest today? Slashdot groupthink seems very confused on this one.

        True, and if we are ever to become one humanity on this planet, then trade and globalisation are going to continue (and culturally there will need to be advances too).

        And along the way, there are winners and losers. A poor person in USA is not worth less or more than a poor person in India.

        But our morals and worldviews are only slowly crawling out of the age of empires.

      • I don't really oppose or support higher levels of immigration; from my own selfish perspective it isn't clear which is better. Legal immigration basically just increases the US population, which I'm not sure has a positive or a negative effect. (I work at a company started by a guy who came here from Jordan, and before that I made pretty good money working in SV for two guys from Russia and Pakistan, so that affects my opinion a bit.)

        Illegal immigration- the kind that really obsesses people- affects me by
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      Yeah, the same CEO who is laying off American IT workers today will be crying in front of Congress tomorrow saying they can't find enough American IT workers to hire.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @05:53AM (#53222313)
      Sorry but your skills are just out of date. The H1Bs have up to date skills that we need to run modern systems to keep costs down. By the way, we need you to stay on for 6 months to train your replacement.
    • And just in time for the election, HCSC releases a herd of new Trump voters into the wild.

    • I don't know why you or ComputerWorld brought the H1-B visa program into this. This is conflating two issues. Outsourcing a function of your company to another company is a business-to-business transaction and does not require any employees of the outsourcing provider to be eligible to work in the United States on a visa basis or any other basis. The ComputerWorld lists a number of activities of the IT function that have matured to the point of mcdonaldization and require less skill. But wages are sticky an

  • So the replacement workers the Americans are being forced to train before getting shoved out the door are from India?

    This could make a great "different cultures" comedy...maybe even a rom-com. It would go like this: one of the fresh young faces hires the Boomer who just trained her and got kicked out of the corporation to be her nanny. They could call it "Scumbag Millionaire".

    • by sxpert ( 139117 )

      the current workers must walk out and tell their current boss to fuck off !

      • You jest (maybe?) but it would be fascinating to see what would happen if the entire IT department at one of these places really did resign en masse and literally just pick up their things and walk out the door.

        If they've already been told they're being laid off, would they typically lose out on any benefits or protections other than pay for whatever handover period was involved, under the rules in the relevant US state(s)?

        Even if would, there's a union-style element of taking one for the team that might ap

        • by GNious ( 953874 )

          Labour unions providing unemployment insurance (short-time pay coverage) allows for this sort of thing - but no idea if they have this structure in the US, and my understanding is that in the US IT workers are very union-adverse.

          • Labor Unions are the perfect solution to the IT problem Slashdot has.

            IT needs to realize it's skilled labor at this point. High school students are graduating with basics in IT.

            Instead of whining about how new CS graduates 'can't do anything' realize that they're being trained to do something different. Pick up the high school student, give them an apprenticeship and let them work their way up.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          You jest (maybe?) but it would be fascinating to see what would happen if the entire IT department at one of these places really did resign en masse and literally just pick up their things and walk out the door.

          I've picked up the pieces as a contractor after a similar situation of zero staff, but they had been laid off and escorted to the door by security. Apparently it happens a lot and is not seen as a disaster situation. Yes, it sucks and I don't agree with that sort of action but management in a lot

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Not unusual, a lot of stuff is moved to India and it's not working well where I work.

      No point in providing any useful stuff if your job is at the line.

      Better search for a new job when you can.

      Encrypting key information and putting up access restrictions between different network segments with firewalls in between "in the name of security" is a nice way to ensure that it's going to be cumbersome to manage the systems remotely.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      No. India is getting too expensive.
      Last week I installed a stupidly expensive per seat bit of software on a few machines and the copyright on it is a company in Pakistan. Earlier versions came from Texas.
  • I'm a bit confused (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @02:49AM (#53221917)

    This is not the first time we've read about laid-off employees being expected to train H-1B replacements. But I've also seen numerous statements that it's illegal to do that. I realize many companies like to play fast and loose with laws, but - why aren't we seeing lawsuits from people in that position? I know some people will be scared they might lose their retirement or severance... but I can't imagine every single person affected would be too scared to sue.

    • I would expect an age discrimination lawsuit from this. That's why CEOs keep this a secret. For one to blab the secret out loud though, and one from an old established company rather than a naive startup CEO, that's strange. Either she got too puffed up to keep the secret or she got really really drunk.

    • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @02:57AM (#53221933) Homepage Journal

      I'm not sure myself, and unfortunately, it is starting to look like it's something I'll need to know for myself.

      However - retirement: If you have a 401K or such, there really isn't any way for a company to "reach in" and take it. If it's a company run plan, or if it is company stock, there is a possibility of loosing it.

      As for training replacements: Yeah. Right. I may teach them something, but I don't promise it'll be useful in the current role. And it's really a shame how much older folks start to "forget".

      I don't understand what drives C level officers to H1B folks. It almost never, ever turns out well. Look what happened when IBM off shored, or how some other well known companies experimented and dropped it like a hot rock.

      • I don't understand what drives C level officers to H1B folks. It almost never, ever turns out well.

        If they were leading a previously failing organisation, and yet they managed to reduce or reverse losses for a few successive quarters by cutting those costs, their performance looks good while they're searching for somewhere else to go next, while the negative consequences probably won't be felt until some time after they've moved on.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        I don't understand what drives C level officers to H1B folks

        Cutting payroll often means a performance bonus for them even if profits and share price drop like a rock.

      • "I don't understand what drives C level officers to H1B folks."

        Because, in this case, it's healthcare. This industry is always searching for ways to screw people over, and messed-up IT is a great way of doing it. Gives them another excuse to run everything off a rat's nest of ancient paper records.

      • I don't understand what drives C level officers to H1B folks. It almost never, ever turns out well.

        "Penny-wise, pound-foolish."

      • From my perspective, it comes down to not being able to hire talented people at the same cost as three years ago. An entry level person might have been $45k "back then," but now everyone wants $65k, and they don't seem as good. So, I can pay someone in India to do the job for $25/hour instead. If it is a short-term need, or if I simply can't find the people it makes sense on the surface.

        Problem is that it doesn't provide any long term benefit to the company, and when there is a 30-50% reduction in produc
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @03:38AM (#53222059) Journal

      why aren't we seeing lawsuits from people in that position?

      The visa workers are usually hired by the firm the main company is outsourcing too. Thus, the hiring practices subject to legal review are not by the main firm. They tell the judge or jurors, "Hey, we are just outsourcing the work, we don't do actual hiring of the workers. The outsourcing company selects workers for a project."

      And the shenanigans used to justify visa workers are fairly well known, such writing the job "requirements" that happen to better fit a known visa applicant. Inspectors are often clueless dolts who don't know Javascript from Flux Capacitors: pump them full of mumbo jumbo and they glaze over. Or they don't have time to dig deeper to find the real requirements of the job, versus the claimed requirements. The outsource companies have a lot of practice writing around the law.

    • The reason you don't see lawsuits is because the leaving workers frequently sign both confidentiality agreements which also forfeit their legal rights so they can get severance. Don't sign, your gone, no money. Sign and the company offers you 6 months of pay.... you choose when you've got a mortgage and a family.
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Don't make it easy for any replacement, write instructions in shorthand and use terms that are unfamiliar to anyone not local. Speak with a heavy accent yourself and make clear that the accent of your replacement isn't easy to understand, play it out to the maximum so that any replacement from offshore won't learn much about the critical details - only daily bread&butter details that you have to do anyway and let passwords for routers and other infrastructural equipment be using accented characters not

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @02:50AM (#53221919)

    I saw 50 year olds being laid off when in 1980 when I was entering the field. And that's when we had stronger age discrimination protection (pre 2009 gutting by SCOTUS) and no H1B's.

    If you are lucky or a genius (top 1% in your field), you'll be fine. otherwise, count on being dumped on the street without warning at about 45 to 54 years old. If we can get the ACA correctly in place, it would reduce some of the incentive ( "self" insuring corporations realize that older people cost a lot more for insurance starting about age 45 and want to dump them unless they have critical skills).

    The next 20 years are going to be bad. A glut of older workers with no savings willing to work at anything to keep from starving. Meanwhile fields like Trucking with 3 million employees may practically vanish over 5 years and the new jobs will only be open to 20 year olds trained in the new technologies (and they may not find enough jobs either- the 30 year olds I know are all about 8 years behind my generation to reach their first cars, first homes, etc.) and I was about 8 years behind my parents generation.

    When your skills are hot, save half what you make until you have enough to live until age 80 if you lose your job. If your job is stable, buy a house because that will fix your monthly payments. The house payment stays about $1200 a month while the apartment rent goes from $1200 to $1800 over a decade. Sure there are repairs but get home owners insurance and learn to change a washer and patch sheetrock (EASY for IT types).

    Management is good money for 4-8 years but a dead end (layoffs). Getting some critical, complex skill that can't easily be outsources is good. And as long as indian language skills suck, business analysts are going to be safe for a while.

    Over time- packages are going to become more common. You purchase them and configure them but you don't code them. Problem is they can be replaced with a new hot package you don't get trained in without warning.

    • On the home ownership-- it is a forced savings program more than anything else. I would suggest anyone blooming at home ownership as a financial instrument use one of the buy-vs-rent calculators (NY Times has a really good one); there are a number of factors that influence the benefits. (Moving, changing family size, tax bracket, etc.)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is how you get out of this situation. When you get out of school, pay down your debt, budget, save, invest, and decide what it means to "need" something versus "want" something. By the time you're 40, you should be glad someone is going to show you the door.

    The American worker is not safe without organized protection, which only doctors and lawyers have managed to maintain. If you're going to refuse to organize because you're "too smart and unions are bad," then at least work to protect yourself. Becau

  • I know a few lawyers that would jump on that comment. Of course "health care" businiesses in general and HCSC in particular are notoriously disinterested in anything but the management's pay checks and bonuses. What other sector would pass out mugs that read "May Your Cup Always be Half Full" - no joke.
  • A guess: CEO Paula Steiner has no technical knowledge, or almost none. A skilled salesman hired by the company in India sold her on what he claimed were big advantages of having the company in India do the IT work.

    Quote from her biography [hcsc.com] on the HCSC web site (last paragraph):

    Steiner serves on the boards of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the National Institute for Health Care Management. She is also a member of the board of directors of World Business Chicago. She holds a B.A. in economics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the Wharton School.

    That quote says she is involved with the management of 5 other organizations.

    "... MBA from the Wharton School." Not a background of someone who understands computer technology.

    I'm guessing that people who work there will call to have a computer problem fixed and will talk to someone who doesn't speak English well and who has very little knowledge of computer technology. That has happened to me numerous times involving several companies.

    • by gatkinso ( 15975 )

      >> "... MBA from the Wharton School." Not a background of someone who understands computer technology.

      HCSC is not a computer/technology company.

      They'd throw all that shit in the dumpster if they could. To them, technology is simply an afterthought.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2016 @03:01AM (#53221947)

    Walk out together without training any replacements. This is what labor unions are for.

    Force your employer into a situation it cannot handle by itself. It needs its workers and will stop functioning if enough workers walk out.

  • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @03:46AM (#53222063)

    "What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I believe that phrase is often misinterpreted or taken out of context. When I read the fuller statement, my interpretation is that she was saying that in the immediate aftermath, getting shit done was more important than categorizing events as terrorist versus non-terrorist: a vocabulary exercise.

      • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @05:24AM (#53222257)

        Wait, are you putting sound bites in CONTEXT? That's not how mindless outrage works!

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        When I read the fuller statement, my interpretation is that she was saying that in the immediate aftermath, getting shit done was more important than categorizing events as terrorist versus non-terrorist: a vocabulary exercise.

        Given that she and various other officials (particularly, the US Ambassador to the UN, her underling) went through the effort of characterizing the attacks in Benghazi as a protest to a YouTube video, you should be asking what was more important? What shit was getting done? Answer: getting Obama reelected.

  • by mad7777 ( 946676 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @04:02AM (#53222091)
    Yes, competition sucks. Welcome to the global economy.

    That cushy job you call "yours" actually belongs to your employer. You are paid at the owners' discretion.

    OK, having said all that, I can tell you that, in all probability, the idiots in charge will be furiously back-pedaling in a few years, once they realize that you get what you pay for. I've been through this. Upper management has strictly no clue what IT even does, but they understand the bottom line. If some Indian IT consulting company offers services at bargain basement prices, they don't ask too many questions. To them, IT services are fungible.

    If you were good at your job, you might be able to get it back at that point. Of course, if you were good, you probably found something better in the meantime. In that case, you will be thanking your current employer for giving you the kick in the ass you needed to get on with your life.
    • I would like to walk through the house of everyone getting laid off to tally the "Made in ________" labels.

      Blue Collar workers racing to the bottom brought us Walmart and then wondered where their blue collar jobs went.

  • the people being replaced should walk out, by whatever means (pretending you're depressed is a good way) on the day the replacements are supposed to arrive, and never come back, period !

    • by gatkinso ( 15975 )

      I almost certainly would do this.... however I have money saved and a contingency plan, not to mention an employed spouse.

      However I might just hang around and be useless, not to mention train my replacements with some anti-patterns and forget some lessons learned.

  • And we wonder why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by golgotha007 ( 62687 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @05:17AM (#53222235)

    more and more data thefts are occurring. These out-sourced outfits taking over entire IT departments are largely maintainers, not designers. They have no chance of keeping up with today's hackers.

  • Newer have understanded how replacing people that all ready know the system helps reduce costs? It cant be good to bring in tons of people that dont even properly speak the language, newer the less know how systems works...
  • Here's what happened at Royal Bank of Scotland in 2012. They "made redundant" (aka fired) 1500 experienced locals and replaced them with 750 foreign contract workers.

    Within a few months, the inexperienced contract workers screwed an update to the batch scheduling software (RBS, like most banks including HSBC, is an IBM mainframe shop). Then the same inexperienced workers screwed the recovery. It took almost a month to repair.

    Wikipedia account of what happened https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    RBS bank'
  • for those mid- to late-career technical folks, how have you managed to adjust to new realities like this?

    Drive for Uber.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @09:41AM (#53222923) Homepage

    Why dont you fuckers form Unions? This shit is exactly why other trades formed unions. Follow the Electrician Union model and all of it will be fixed almost overnight.

    • by gatkinso ( 15975 )

      >> all of it will be fixed almost overnight

      Which is about how long it would take to download everything offshore.

      Electrician HAVE to actually be on site (until they design a robot that someone can telework with that is). To an overwhelming degree, IT does not. This is the difference, and why unionization of IT is a nonstarter.

  • Ordinarily, quitting a job can affect your eligibility for employment insurance, but quitting would not affect your eligibility for EI in these circumstances, and although quitting would lead to you not getting any severance, any severance package you *did* receive would only delay when you started receiving those benefits by whatever duration the size of your severance is equivalent to based on your normal rate of pay. The *ONLY* way that severance packages are worthwhile when you are going on EI is when
    • by hwstar ( 35834 )

      That depends on which country you live in. Here in the US, quitting your job most likely means that you are ineligible for unemployment benefits. Now, if you can successfully argue that training your replacement is a form of constructive dismissal, then you may be able to receive benefits. In my opinion, both severance and unemployment benefits are so short term, they aren't worth worrying about. What really matters is having MONEY IN THE BANK. A nice cash cushion allows you to be choosy in accepting a new

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        It's not that it's constructive dismissal as much as it is a "significant alteration of work responsibilities and duties" which unless it was specifically stated in the hiring contract before starting the job, would be a violation of said contract and thus considered "just cause" for quitting without affecting EI qualification.
  • This trend started in the 1990s and has only gathered steam. I positioned myself in an industry mostly immune to outsourcing (for now): local government.

    There are enormous pressures on for-profit IT firms, whether it's hardware, software, or services. The requirement for increasing profit works against long term employment and high wages. Let's face it, IT has an issue with older workers. I am 52, but transitioned to local government about 15 years ago where they actually pay attention to age discrimination

  • When I first read the headlines, my blood started to boil, thinking "how the shit is this even legal". But then, I read story. From the article:

    The jobs that would be moved to an outsourcer include monitoring and incident resolution, helpdesk support, and problem and patch management. Other areas would be partially outsourced, such as infrastructure product development, cloud and automation. HCSC will retain governance and planning. The outsourcing vendor has not been named, the employees said.

    Who the hell does these kind of jobs in the US today? Those things have been automated or outsourced for the last 8-10 years. Who the hell banks on having a career on any of these fields? Monitoring? Helpdesk support? Patch management?

    That was fine 15 years ago. And with the rise of DevOps and sophisticated virtualization/cloud infrastructure and automation, you

    • Wrong. Those tasks are done *well* by people in the USA today, and very poorly by outsourced ignorant people reading from a script in a foreign land. Customers are getting sick and tired of that nonsense.

      Virtualization doesn't automate most problem resolution which are application centric, you are spewing some kind of marketing nonsense. For example, an app runs off the rails, eating up storage with logging, and your kind is rejoicing the automation keeps growing the disk.

      DevOps based in the USA with pro

  • because those same baby boomers that are being laid off also voted to gut the government's regulatory powers in the name of freedom, small government and low taxes. That plus regulatory capture and a health dose of wedge issues to divide the working class means any attempt to address age discrimination will go precisely nowhere. BAU/Functioning as Designed.

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