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Jun 01 2012

The Job Creators strike again

As so well noted by the Amazon cofounder comments’ posted here a few weeks ago, Job Creator is awfully close to The Creator, and that deification is no accident. So, how have our real-world, non Godly job creators been going about creating jobs after enjoying the greatest tax breaks and taxpayer cash infusion in history?

(Mother Jones) — Bank of America, which last fall announced plans to lay off 30,000 workers, is about to go on a hiring spree — overseas.

America’s second-largest bank is relocating its business-support operations to the Philippines, according to a high-ranking Filipino government official recently quoted in the Filipino press. The move, which includes a portion of the bank’s customer service unit, comes less than three years after Bank of America received a $45 billion federal bailout. …

Needless to say, the outsourcing is bad news for an already hurting US call center industry, which has shed some 500,000 jobs during the past four years—about 10 percent of the total.

I work in a contact center for a software company that has billions in the bank and likes to brag to themselves about how wonderful they treat their employees. The lousy pay and heartless policies my coworkers and I endure has created an entire class in my community of college educated professionals who have to come to work deathly ill and badly injured, or risk being punished in some chicken shit way. The pay is so poor these guys can’t even afford a new car payment and still make rent and bills in a cheap apartment – unless they live at home with their parents or enjoy a second income through marriage or another job.

But hey, the average Filipino family gets by on less than $ 5000 a year, so there’s still savings to be had for companies looking to slash labor costs even more. Because we Americans have it too easy: like my coworker who spent yesterday racing to the bathroom every hour or two after being up for two days vomiting. When I pointed out he hadn’t missed a day in over a year he responded “I don’t wanna risk it,” and imo, he was right to be worried.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    johnbrown

    But think of all the cheap plastic crap you can buy from China because of outsourcing!

  2. 2
    johnbrown

    That is cheap plastic crap that you can buy at Walmart(r), of course!

  3. 3
    unbound

    This has been happening for decades now. The question is when the masses are going to wake up and stop accepting the silly line that these people are job creators.

  4. 4
    interrobang

    That’s appalling. Why can that even happen to you (collectively)?

  5. 5
    bryanfeir

    Why can this happen? Let’s see, American’s health care plans come from their employers, so if they don’t have a job they don’t have health care; there are a massive number of people looking for work, and call centre work is fairly low-requirement, so anybody that leaves can be replaced fairly easily, too, and the high turnover in good times drives this in; lots of states are ‘right to work’ states meaning pretty much that anybody can be fired at any time for any reason, and unless you can prove it was for one of the protected reasons (sex, religion, etc) you have no recourse…

    All this combined means that people in such jobs are in a constant precarious position, and know it, so they either quit early, or do anything to hang on…

  6. 6
    naturalcynic

    Why can that even happen to you (collectively)?
    There’s an old story about a frog and a scorpion that ends with “But, that’s what scorpions do.”
    Should they be renamed Bank Screws America? But then, how could they be differentiated from Citi, Chase & Wells Fargo?

  7. 7
    dankulkosky

    The situation in the Philippines is not great. The country was an American colony until 1947 and dominated by the US for many decades afterward. So the education system is in English, making nearly all Filipinos bi- or multilingual. And the university system is similar to the University of California (before the tax rebellion ruined that once great institution). The main branch of the University of the Philippines is regarded as the Harvard of Asia.

    So what’s the problem? Most of the country’s skilled and educated people emigrate to US, Canada, western Europe, and the Middle East to earn far better pay than they can get at home. (Been to an ER or intensive care unit lately? You’ve seen a hard-working Filipino there.) This brain drain leaves most of the less educated behind. Roughly 80 million of them and rising. The emigres send home billions every year, but that only helps people sustain a barely adequate life-style. Not to worry though: Filipinos already speak English, so they’re a perfect fit for call-center work. So if you’ve called customer service lately, if the agent wasn’t Indian, he or she was likely Filipino.

    Needless to say, an economy dependent on overseas remissions and call-center work is not exactly thriving. That’s why one ex-Filipino president said words to the effect that his country had been screwed by globalization. Naturally, the major international corporations could care less. They get their labor cheap.

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