Updated and republished a second time because I just listened to an outstanding podcast about living in the Philippines, working in the Philippines and some great niche business ideas for those who want to earn in the Philippines. It comes from my good friends Justin Cook and Joe Magnotti, two Americans who set up and run their own profitable business here in Davao City, and Chris Ducker, a Britisher who operates several highly successful virtual staffing businesses in Cebu City. Highly recommended and well worth a “listen“, especially if the idea of “US Jobs Being Stolen Overseas” gets you excited or annoyed 😉
I decided to update and republish this post the first time after my article yesterday on outsourcing office work on-line. It’s a bit interesting since it looks at the situation of ‘exporting’ jobs from a couple different angles.
Almost without question I am sure I could find plenty of Americans up in arms about ‘stealing American jobs’ … but what if the jobs were not “American” in the first place…. the way the so-called “Irish” jobs in this article were not really “Irish” jobs at all. Who does actually “own” a job? If a corporation “makes” a job … as a tire company “makes” a tire, does that corporation have the right to “sell” that job as one might think they have the right to “sell” the tire?
Interesting news item that flowed across my desk a while back:
LATE-NIGHT calls to one of the State’s main directory inquiry services are being answered from the Philippines after the company that operates the service, Conduit, outsourced the night shift to a call center in Manila.
The move involves the loss of 10 jobs in Conduit’s Dublin headquarters and has prompted fears among the 120 staff working on the day shift of the 11850 directory inquiry service that their jobs could also be transferred to southeast Asia. The night-shift workers, some of whom have up to 10 years’ service, are being laid off later this month. Staff say that they have been offered a redundancy package of two weeks per year of service plus the statutory minimum.
Conduit switched the answering of directory inquiry calls between 10pm and 7am to Manila last June on a trial basis, and recently decided to make the new arrangement permanent.
KGB, a large US call centre operation that owns Conduit, runs a call centre in the Philippine capital employing 3,000 people. Wages in such call centres are typically about $2-$3 an hour, much less than the rates paid to Irish call centre employees… More of the article on Irish call center workers here.
Couple of interesting points, not all of which are readily apparent on first reading.
- This same article, with different details was written in some US paper or another a few years back when the company which is now KGB (no, not the same as the former USSR Secret Service ;-)) “stole” the jobs from the US and shipped them to Ireland, because the Irish workers would do the work for a lot less than the US workers. Did someone just whisper the word “karma” under their breath?
- Those who are blindly investing billions in one call center after another here in the Philippines might want to consider who is going to undercut Philippine Call Center prices. It will certainly happen. Actually, few if any call center employees in Manila are working for $3 an hour as the Irish article suggests, wages have been climbing steadily in pace with demand. You basically already have to pay more than $3.00 USD per hour for good agents in Manila, so who will start “snagging” business away from Philippine call centers in 2010? (ed, I haven’t seen as much of this as I thought would happen)
- The blind spending of my own countrymen, still buying Hummers and other gas guzzler’s comes home to roost in mysterious ways. the jobs mentioned, and many, many others are no longer American jobs or Irish jobs but they have become the ‘property’ of KGB. The own of property can essentially do anything that he wishes with it, and KGB is a Bahraini company. It’s not the Irish or the Indians or Malaysians or the Filipinos who are “stealing” American jobs, it’s the oil princes who have them pressed into their hands as tribute every time Americans prostrate themselves toward Mecca and offer tribute at the pump. If this wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable … mid-East oil sheiks taking American jobs along with American “gas money”.
- Last item I found worth a chuckle. In spite of all the paragraphs in the article bemoaning the poor hardworking folks who lost their jobs … actually none did. If you bother to read the article rather than the sensationalist headline … ten workers were asked to change their working shift hours because of cut backs. Two did change their hours, and are still working at “their jobs” just as before Manila came into the picture, while eight others said, “I’d prefer my severance package” and departed. So absolutely no one lost their jobs .. the newspaper headline was a lie to sell more papers, as so many of today’s headlines turn out to be.
- Somehow I think a person who actually had no job might consider being asked to move to a different shift a little less life-changing than these folks did … but then again, it wasn’t me. Just remember, though, when reading about the “millions of US jobs” that have been lost to overseas employers … the truth is often more like a worker is asked to change hours and tells management, F.U, I won’t change … so management hires someone who will work as requested. Is that the “loss of an American job”? Or just another angry American living out his Johnny Paycheck fantasy … “Take This Job and Shove It”?
Some interesting thoughts there, for those who chose to think.
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