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- Wall Street Journal: Judge
Rules IBM Must Make Back Payments in Pension Case. Excerpt: A federal judge has ruled in a landmark
pension lawsuit that International Business Machines Corp. must make back
payments to workers covered by a 1999 retirement plan that didn't give longer-service
workers a fair share of benefits. IBM, of Armonk, NY, says it shouldn't have
to make the payments, which it estimates could amount to $6 billion in retroactive
benefits. The company on Wednesday reiterated that the amount it would have
to pay under the decision hasn't yet been determined.
... Judge Murphy's action last week was the latest development in a case
that has been seen as a testing ground for cash-balance pension plans, hybrid
retirement vehicles that combine elements of traditional plans with 401(k)s.
Controversy has swirled around cash-balance plans, with critics saying that
longer-service workers often lose benefits when companies convert to the vehicles.
Saying that the IBM workers are "entitled to retroactive relief," Judge
Murphy also criticized IBM's legal argument that the company shouldn't
be liable for the back benefits.
IBM based that argument on City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power
v. Manhart, a 1978 pension case that involved the issue of age discrimination.
IBM argued that, like the city of Los Angeles, it was blind-sided by what it called
a drastic change in the law. In the case of IBM, the drastic change was Judge Murphy's
contention that the company's plan had violated federal law. IBM, "like hundreds
of other companies, reasonably assumed" that its pension plan was legal, according
to IBM spokeswoman Ms. Collins.
"There has not been a change in the law," Judge Murphy said. "All
that has changed is IBM's clever, but ineffectual, response to law that
it finds too restrictive for its business model." Kathi Cooper, an IBM
employee who is a lead plaintiff in the suit, said she wasn't surprised
by Judge Murphy's ruling. "I would expect no less," Ms. Cooper said
in an interview. "IBM
reached beyond limits to try to pull Manhart over on Murphy, and he caught
it." If link is broken, view
Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--39
- Washington Post: IBM
Loses Another Round in Pension Case. Excerpt: IBM Corp.
owes back payments - possibly worth billions of dollars - to 140,000 older
employees who were harmed when the technology giant converted to a new kind
of pension plan in the 1990s, a federal judge has ruled. The plaintiffs in
the case want IBM to make up for what they lost after the company adopted
plan, which pays workers a lump sum when they leave the company. A federal
judge had ruled last July that the plan amounted to age discrimination because
it unfairly penalized older employees. ... Lead plaintiff Kathi Cooper, 53,
a 24-year IBM veteran from Bethalto, Ill., who filed the lawsuit in 1999,
said she was "extremely gratified" by the judge's ruling on retroactive
benefits. "It would have been a travesty of justice if IBM had gotten away
with only paying damages to 140,000 injured employees from today forward.
That is not the American way of doing things," she said. "I want to
stay with IBM for a long, long time. It is one of the magnificent corporations
of the world. But they just can't do what they've done with their pension
benefits and think they are above the law."
- CBS MarketWatch: IBM
to appeal pension-plan ruling. IBM said Wednesday it
would appeal a federal judge's decision in a pension case that could be worth
billions of dollars in back payments to 140,000 Big Blue employees. Excerpt:
Kendra Collins, an IBM spokeswoman, said the company "disagrees with
the court ruling and believes no retroactive payments are warranted." Collins
said IBM would appeal the case and stands by its defense. ... George Elling,
an analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities, said that while it is impossible
to predict how the IBM case will turn out, it has potential ramifications
for other companies that either have, or might consider cash-balance plans. "It's
important because it's the first time the judge has said IBM might have to
make retroactive pension payments," Elling said. "At
issue for a lot of companies now is that they will probably have to look
at what they are doing and decide if they want to go through with it." Deutsche
Bank has an investment banking relationship with IBM.
- A complete copy of Judge Murphy's order in the Cooper v. IBM case is available
comments: Needless, to
say, ERIC is not too happy. Interestingly enough, they are also
unhappy with the administration's proposal for legalizing cash
balance plans; apparently, permission to screw employees
prospectively, without any legalization of past conversions, isn't
- "just_a_bean_counter" answers this question: Anyone have any insight into
what the remedy in the current
decision means if it stands? I assume that it means that IBM would have
to deposit funds into the Cash Balance plan for those who are on it?
But for what age group? More for older than younger I guess? And would
it include those who took the Cash Balance plan voluntarily vs. not? The
answer (full excerpt): Judge Murphy ruled that both the Cash Balance plan
and the prior plan
(PCF) is illegal. IBM keeps our pension money in a trust. If we
win, the money would be paid out of that trust, as it is our trust.
(It is loaded) People in the Cash Balance plan and the PCF plan should get
not just the Cash Balance people. Remember, Judge Murphy said BOTH
are illegal. It has nothing to do with what choice you took or if you were
with the Cash Balance plan voluntarily or not. Choice is totally
irrelevant and should remain so. When IBM gave us 'choice', they
gave us 'choice' between two very harmful plans. (Please, don't ever
fall for choice again). If you really want to understand all of this, click
on the 'Files'
section located in the navigational box to the left on your screen.
There are many good files including the brief on remedial relief.
- Janet Krueger
opines on the comment "What we don't know is how the damages
will be determined." Full excerpt: When asked to submit a brief on what
would constitute a 'fair'
amount of relief for the damaged employees, maybe IBM should have
used the opportunity to submit what they would consider to be
a 'fair', reasonable, non-discriminatory settlement instead of first
ranting about how unreasonable and expensive the plaintiff's
proposal was and then proposing no retroactive relief at all?
And maybe IBM's pleas about having been innocently led into an
illegally discriminatory plan would have played with the court
better if the court hadn't seen a presentation IBM made to the Board
of Directors before the 1995 plan changes admitting there was
a 'risk' someone would discover the plan was discriminatory, but
that the cuts needed to made in order to fund the new executive
retirement plans that were needed to retain today's super-duper
executives??? (It was NO accident that the amount cut from employee
obligations almost exactly matched the amount added to the new
[Editor's note: SEPP=Supplemental Executive Pension Plan]. As
I've said before, I'm not sure outsourcing the legal team was one
of IBM's smartest decisions.
- Newsday: Big
Blue’s Pension Problems.
IBM fights high-stakes’ ruling it owes older workers billions. Excerpt:
Nothing in Kathi Cooper's background suggests a hint of rebellion: She has
worked as an internal auditor for IBM Corp. the past 25 years and has lived
in the tiny Illinois town of Bethalto all her life. But Cooper has certainly
caused headaches for Big Blue. The latest came late last week, when a federal
judge in East St. Louis ruled that -- as a result of an earlier successful
suit Cooper filed against IBM -- the company owes back payments possibly
involving billions of dollars to 140,000 older employees who were harmed when
the computer giant converted to a new kind of pension plan in 1999. "I'm
absolutely thrilled," Cooper,
53, said Thursday in a telephone interview. Cooper, the lead plaintiff in
the pension case, would be among the employees owed back pay. She declined to
say how much.
- Ellen Schultz of the Wall Street Journal wrote a landmark article on cash
balance pension plans late in 1999. If you haven't read it in the past, it's
worth doing so now. See How
a Single Sentence By the IRS Paved the Way to Cash-Balance Plans.
- Wall Street Journal: Forcing
Employees to Buy Drugs Through the Mail. New Corporate Policies Curb
Ability to Fill Prescriptions
at the Local Pharmacy. Excerpt: A growing number of large employers, from
Citigroup to the Big Three auto companies, are forcing employees to get
their prescription drugs through the mail rather than a local pharmacy.
As with most shifts in health care, the motivation is money. Prescription-drug
prices are one of the fastest-growing categories of medical costs. But
mail-order drugs can be substantially cheaper in large part because the
companies that sell them don't have as much overhead as retail pharmacies.
There's another big reason for the growing use of so-called mandatory mail.
Employers generally hire outside companies to manage their pharmacy benefits.
Many of those companies own their own mail-order businesses, and tell clients
they will get big discounts if they sign up. Pharmacy-benefits companies
make much larger profit margins on prescriptions filled in their own mail-order
International Business Machines Corp., Southwest Airlines Co., General Motors Corp.,
Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and a number of municipal governments have all
started mandatory mail programs.
- Center for American Progress: Health
Care: Dumping Retirees. Excerpt: American businesses have found a new way
to make a buck: Kick retirees out of their health care programs. The NYT reported
last week, "Employers have unleashed a new wave of cutbacks in company-paid
health benefits for retirees, with a growing number of companies saying that
retirees can retain coverage only if they are willing to bear the full cost
themselves." And while President Bush reassured seniors on 10/29/03 that
his new Medicare bill would not give incentives to corporations "to what
they call dump retirees," that has proven not to be the case: the bill
provides an $89 billion subsidy to big corporations, ostensibly to encourage
them to keep prescription-drug coverage for former employees. The problem? "Companies
are not obligated to set aside funds to pay for retirees' health benefits,
and the health plans can usually be changed or terminated at the company's
choosing, with no appeal available to the retirees." As the WSJ reported
last month, "companies are entitled to the subsidy regardless of how much
of the cost they pick up themselves. As a result, it does nothing to halt the
current rush by some employers to shift more costs to retirees." In fact, "benefits
consultants are designing employer-sponsored prescription plans to save companies
more money by unloading costs on their former workers without losing out on
the new subsidy."
- Vault's IBM
Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout
for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Some sample
Alternatives. Author: Bad CEO, No $50 Million Bonus for You! Excerpt:
With the company making about 2.5 - 3 times a person's salary in billing
per person, and a goal of 93% chargeability, I don't see why offshoring a
person's job is required at all. They whack people who don't come close to
the chargeability goal, so it is not like they have to carry a bunch of consultants
that are cruising along at 20% utilization. Is 2.5 - 3 times a person's salary
not enough? I would be ecstatic if I got that sort of rate of return on my
money. Or is it that consulting firms have so much overhead or administrative/management
personnel that 2.5 - 3 times salary from the drones is simply not enough
to cover those people? ... Another item that needs some 'splainin' (as Ricky
would say), is the announcements made to Wall Street are glowingly positive,
but then the powers that be send jobs offshore and withhold raises and
bonuses. I understand being proactive if they really feel that we need to
do the offshoring to stay competitive, but that hasn't been demonstrated to
my satisfaction (see above commentary on the 10% difference). Maybe this
is just poor communications from above, but I think some 'splainin' of the
above points would help a lot of us feel less frustrated with offshoring,
layoffs, and raise/bonus issues.
posts a recent corporate communication from IBM to its employees. Full excerpt: IBM's values are the most basic reflection
of who we are as a company -- and at the same time, a very practical
necessity. Given our business model, IBM's competitive success depends
on IBMers' judgment, knowledge and teamwork. And the best way to ensure
that is not through processes and procedures, but through consistent
behavior shaped by common values. One of the most important systems
to support both our values and the success of IBM's business is how
we set objectives, evaluate performance and reward people. In fact, this
was one of the most passionate topics in the discussions among the thousands
of participants in ValuesJam. I want you to know we heard you loud and clear.
You will soon be hearing from your business leader about significant changes
to both the PBC and Variable Pay programs, which will take effect in
most countries this year. Our new system is designed to reduce the
role of process and to reinforce personal responsibility and trust -- on
both sides of the manager-employee relationship -- while continuing to ensure
rigorous integrity and fairness. Aligning our management systems and daily
behavior with IBM's values doesn't stop here, of course. That is many years'
work. But these changes to our performance programs are an important step
on the way to making IBM the values-based organization we all want it to
"translates" the recent internal corporate communication "into
Full excerpt: IBM pretends to have values even though we are a large,
bureaucratic organization. Since we focus on maximizing our profit,
our ability to do that depends on people like you working a lot for
as little as possible. And the best way to ensure that is to pretend
that we have common values across the organization, despite the fact
that we will continue to operate as a large, bureaucratic organization.
One of the most important facades we use to convey our insincerity,
is how we motivate you to work more for less. In fact, this was one
of the topics that people like you bitched about the most with your
loser co-workers during ValuesJam. I want you to know that we heard your
bitching and we will pretend we were listening. You will soon be hearing
from someone else who you do not know who affects your career about changes
in how we will pretend to reward you, which will take effect in all non-third
world countries this year. This new facade is designed to further mislead
you - on both sides of the manager-employee relationship - while continuing
to ensure more work for IBM and less pay for you. Pretending to improve
your situation at IBM doesn't stop here, of course. We will continue
to brainwash you for many years. But these changes to our performance programs
are an important step on the way to making IBM as profitable as it
comments on IBM's announcement that IBM Global Services Business Consulting
Services (BCS) employees will not receive a bonus this year. Full excerpt:
Although I think "alwaysontheroad4bigblue" pretty much summarized
to why we front line consultants and IT Architects in BCS won't get a
bonus, I'd also like to add that the staffees who weren't on the line
will ironically be rewarded with those variable pay checks. This
award, of course is subject to deductions by the various "loans" and "advances" that
allegedly we were already given in 2003. There is also a big problem on
multiple site dual taxation and on tax
liability on bonuses not paid. Morale is pretty bad here now. If the strategy
is for BCS to identify
new business for the other units to reap we are in a heap of trouble
folks. The sad thing is that the VP and incentive pay combination was a
good buffer for getting a little less in good and at least something in
bad times for an individual or unit. Now it appears HR is flipping it
back and forth based on how they can minimize any payouts beyond
- Reuters: Former
IBM Korea officials jailed in bribery case. Excerpt: Three
former officials of IBM Korea have been given jail sentences for bribery
and illegal business activities in a case involving state contracts for computer
parts and servers, a Seoul court said on Wednesday. "Chang Kyoung-ho
(the former head of IBM Korea's public sector team) was sentenced to 18 months
in prison and fined 98 million won ($84,770) over the bribery charges and for
illegal business activities," an official at the
Seoul District Court official told Reuters by telephone. Chang, along with
some 47 IBM venture officials and South Korean government officials, had
been investigated over allegations that executives of IBM's wholly owned
IBM Korea and LGIBMPC Corp -- a joint venture 51 percent owned by IBM and
49 percent by LG Electronics Inc -- had
bribed government officials to win state contracts.
- John Mellon
(full excerpt): To: All Ex-IBMers advised of termination on or after 07/07/01;
What: Meeting with Attorneys Jeff Young and Pat McTeague;
When: Friday, 03/05/04 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.;
Saturday, 03/06/04 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon;
Where: The CWA Union Hall;
2015 Naglee Avenue;
San Jose, CA 95128;
RSVP: by Wednesday, 03/03/04 to 800-482-0958.
Jeff Young and Pat McTeague, the attorneys handling the age
discrimination case against IBM, will be in San Jose for a court
conference on March 5, 2004. While we have had a chance to meet many
of the folks back East, this is our first trip to San Jose. We would
welcome the opportunity to meet with you, get acquainted, update you
about the March 5 conference, and answer questions in person about
the suit. To that end, we have scheduled meetings on March 5 from
6:30-8:30 and March 6 from 10-12 as set forth above. Please note
that Jeff Young will be present at the Friday night meeting only.
Many of you may know of other laid-off employees who have not yet
joined our suit. For example, if you took outplacement classes
offered by DBM (Drake Beam Morin), you might have picked up the e-
mail addresses of your "classmates." Please tell them about these
meetings. You can also tell them the benefits of joining the suit
(which they will probably be able to join if the judge grants class
status to the suit). The meetings are not limited to current clients
but are open to those who may want to join. At the current time,
this would include anyone advised on or after July 7, 2001
that they were being let go.
- PBS FrontLine: Tax
Me If You Can. Inside the bogus tax shelter business--the companies involved,
the schemes concocted, and how the ultimate victim is the American taxpayer.
Excerpt: It was one of corporate America's biggest hidden profit centers
in the past decade -- the tax shelter -- and it became so lucrative that
last year it helped major U.S. companies cut their tax rate to just half
of what they had historically paid, leaving individual taxpayers to make
up the difference. The General Accounting Office estimates that illegitimate
tax shelters cost the government more than $85 billion in recent years.
... "Tax Me If You Can" also reveals how some of America's most respected
accounting firms drove the tax shelter wave, generating dozens of shelters that were
mass marketed and then found to be illegitimate by the IRS and the courts. In the
documentary, Smith speaks with a former tax attorney for KPMG, who describes how
the firm's accountants and attorneys were ordered by KPMG tax executives to design
-- and market aggressively -- as many tax shelters as possible, since the firm made
a profit based on how much it saved its clients in taxes.
"Tax Me If You Can" concludes by reporting that while the Republican-controlled
U.S. Senate has passed broad tax shelter reform legislation, both the Bush administration
and private sector companies, such as accounting and leasing firms, oppose a Senate-backed
provision requiring that shelters have economic substance and genuine business
purpose to be legal. The House of Representatives has so far declined to pass such
legislation, which remains bottled up in the Ways and Means Committee.
"You're talking about powerful accounting firms, powerful legal firms, powerful
investment bankers in a conspiracy to promote these tax shelters," declares
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who
sponsored the Senate bill. "They also have a fourth arm. They hire some of
the most powerful lobbyists in town to work against this legislation."
- PBS: Now with Bill Moyers, February 13, 2004. Interview
with the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times financial columnist
David Cay Johnston. He spent
nine years researching his book Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign
to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich and Cheat Everybody Else.
BRANCACCIO: There's a whole other realm of income, that often affluent
people can use, what, to get out of paying taxes? JOHNSTON: Well, let me give you… use
an example here of CEOs. You
about a CEO who made $105 million for a single year's work. He may
have only paid $1.7 million in taxes immediately. He takes $5 million
to support his lifestyle, and he pays the taxes, $1.7 million.
He takes the $100 million, and defers it. He leaves it on deposit with
the company. He doesn't pay taxes on it. The company invests that. It
grows on his behalf. When he retires, he takes the money. And he pays
taxes at that point, which may be years down the road. Now, all the
other senior executives do this, to varying amounts. It may go all the
way down to managers making these little… these $55,000, who put
$5000 this way.
The company has to not only put away for the CEO the $100 million. But
it doesn't get to deduct that, because it didn't pay it. So, it has to
pay $35 million more in federal income taxes.
BRANCACCIO: So, the shareholders are paying this bill.
JOHNSTON: Maybe the workers get the bill. Because when you add up all
this money that's sitting in these deferred accounts that hardly
anybody knows about, and there have been executives who have built up
billion dollar untaxed fortunes this way, what the companies do is
they go to the rank and file.
And they say, "You know, David, you and the other guys, you worked
here a long time but we can't afford your healthcare plan anymore
because of competitive pressures. We can't afford your pension plan
anymore. Or you're going to have to move to a 401-K plan. You can save
for your retirement instead of having a pension that adds to your
provides details on IBM's new measurement system for employees.
Excerpt: The Rating Distribution Guidelines are: 1 Among
the top contributors this year:
10 -20%; 2+ Above average contributor,
2 Solid contributor:
65-85% (divided at 1st line manager's discretion); 3 Among the lowest
contributors, needs to improve:
5-15%; 4 Unsatisfactory. Please note: Do not apply rating distribution
guidance to recent
graduates from any school in the past 12 months who come to IBM as
their first employer. ... IBM provides distribution-guidance ranges
that are flexible and set
standards to recognize top contributors (PBC 1) and focus on
identifying those among the lowest contributors (PBC 3). Identifying
the top and the bottom contributors is important for the continued
viability of IBM. It is also important to recognize the achievements
of above average (PBC 2+) and solid contributors (PBC 2). This
distinction between the 2 and 2+ ratings is determined solely by the
first line manager based on an assessment of relative contribution.
The unsatisfactory rating (PBC 4) is reserved for those who are not
demonstrating required knowledge / skills or are not executing
against job responsibilities, or who after consecutive PBC 3 ratings
do not show significant improvement. Since the PBC 4 rating is not
based on relative contribution, there is no distribution guidance
for PBC 4 ratings. Note: All graduates from any school within the past
12 months, who
come to IBM as their first employer, will be excluded from the
distribution calculation. This helps ensure that IBM does not lose
the investment we have made in these talented individuals.
| Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Outsourcing Issues
- New York Times editorial: Dark
Side of Free Trade. Excerpt: he classic
story of the American economy is a saga about an ever-expanding middle
class that systematically absorbs the responsible, hard-working families
from the lower economic groups. It's about the young people of each
successive generation doing better than their parents' generation.
The plotline is supposed to be a proud model for the rest of the
world. One of the reasons there is so much unease among voters this year
is the fact that this story no longer rings so true. Books based on its
plotline are increasingly being placed in the stacks labeled "fantasy." The
middle class is in trouble. Globalization and outsourcing are hot
topics in this election season because so many middle-class Americans,
instead of having the luxury of looking ahead to a brighter future for the
next generation, are worried about slipping into a lower economic
segment themselves. This is happening in the middle of an economic expansion,
which should tell us that the terrain has changed. In terms of job creation,
it's the weakest expansion on record. The multinationals and the stock market
are doing just fine. But American workers are caught in a cruel squeeze
between corporations bent on extracting every last ounce of productivity
from their U.S. employees and a vast new globalized work force that
is eager and well able to do the jobs of American workers at a fraction
of the pay. ...
Mr. Pardon does not buy the rhetoric of the free-trade crusaders,
who declare, as a matter of faith, that the wholesale shipment of
jobs overseas is good for Americans who have to work for a living. "There
aren't any new middle-class `postindustrial' or information-age jobs
for displaced information-age workers," he told me. "There
are no opportunities to `move up the food chain' or `leverage our
experience' into higher value-added jobs." The simple truth, as Mr.
Pardon and so many others have found through hard experience, is
that enormous numbers of well-educated, highly skilled white-collar
workers are having tremendous trouble finding the kind of high-level
employment they've been trained for and the kind of pay they feel
they deserve. The knee-jerk advocates of unrestrained trade always insist
that it will result in new, more sophisticated and ever more highly paid
employment in the U.S. We can ship all these nasty jobs (like computer
programming) overseas so Americans can concentrate on the more important,
more creative tasks. That great day is always just over the horizon. And
those great jobs are never described in detail.
- Computerworld: Offshore
outsourcing poses privacy perils. Excerpt: Outsourcing jobs to offshore
destinations can sharply increase data privacy risks and the complexity
of managing that risk, several experts at the Fourth Annual Privacy
and Data Security Summit here warned this week.
As a result, companies need to ensure that overseas vendors are contractually tied
to specific conditions regarding how data is transmitted, accessed, used, stored
and shared, they said. Those challenges include regulatory compliance, data protection
and access issues, as well as monitoring and auditing issues. "The risks are
enormous to business strategy," said
Richard Purcell, founder of Nordland, Wash.-based consultancy Corporate Privacy
Group and former chief privacy officer at Microsoft Corp.
- Washington Post: Greenspan
Calls for Better-Educated Workforce. Excerpt:
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that U.S.
workers must be better educated so they can find jobs in an economy
that is increasingly creating conceptual goods rather than tangible
products. ... "We have reason to be confident that new jobs will displace
old ones as they always have, but America's job turnover process is never
without pain for those caught in the job-losing portion," he said.
- AccountingWeb: Outsourcing
to India Grows While Legislation Aims to Apply Brakes. Excerpt: The
trend towards outsourcing accounting work to India added another brick
to its foundation this week, with the announcement of the launch of
a new U.S. based company to assist with the transactions.
Accountants in India (AII) is the brainchild of
accounting profession veterans Wayne Harding (formerly with AICPA's
CPA2Biz) and KC Truby (Bridge 21). The outsourcing matchmaker was launched
Thursday to help lower costs for U.S. accounting firms by hiring full-time
accounting professionals in India. "Through AII, CPA firms can hire
a qualified, college graduate accountant, successfully trained in QuickBooks
Pro and other business management applications, for about $8 an hour," said
COO Wayne Harding in a press release. According to the New York Times,
100,000 U.S. tax returns, both federal and state, will be prepared
by Indian citizens in Bombay and Bangalore this year. The number of
returns is four times larger than last year, and many more times greater
than the several thousand of just two years ago.
... Steven Clemons, executive vice president of the New America Foundation think
tank, speaking to the Chicago Tribune from Bombay, said that Congress and the Bush
administration should focus not on protectionism, but on encouraging innovation. "There's
a culture of inquiry here. I've never met so many smart, so incredibly inexpensive
- Los Angeles Times: U.S.
Firms Lament Cutback in Visas for Foreign Talent.
Excerpt: Pulling up the welcome mat to foreign talent when corporate
America is gearing up for a turnaround poses a threat to America's
global competitiveness, Cheung and other executives said recently. They
predicted that a shortage of H-1B visas would force them to pass over
promising foreign-born scientists, leave crucial jobs unfilled or delay
projects that require special talents that can't be found in this country.
- Slashdot ("News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters"): Indian
Techies Answer About 'Onshore Insourcing'. Excerpt: It's common here
for new grads (slang term: "freshers") to spend up to six months
in a low-paid or even unpaid internship before they get a "'real" job.
This is true not only of programmers and other IT people, but in almost
all white collar positions. One of the desk clerks at the hotel I'm in
is a new-grad management trainee who earns what she calls "a stipend
that buys my clothes," and won't start earning her full starting salary
-- about $330 per month -- for another four months.
- Computerworld: Bill
Would Force Disclosure of Offshore Plans. Excerpt: Companies that plan
to move IT jobs overseas may be required to disclose layoff plans three
months in advance, under a bill introduced last week by Senate Minority
Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
Daschle said he was responding to a Bush administration argument put
forth by Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic
Advisors, defending a free-trade approach to the offshoring of service
jobs, including IT jobs.
on the WashTech site:
Shows Extent of Washington State Agencies' Offshoring. Excerpt:
A preliminary report released Monday by the Washington state governor's
office discloses that dozens of state agencies have outsourced work
and sent millions in state revenues overseas. Three Washington state
lawmakers who are sponsoring measures to curb offshore outsourcing held a
news conference Monday to discuss the impact of the report's findings. "Our
state is in its third year of a severe recession," said
Rep. Steve Conway, D-Tacoma. "We saw a net growth of only 1,000 jobs
in Washington last year. This is no time to be sending taxpayer dollars
and jobs to businesses and citizens outside our state."