Can someone from China, Taiwan and Korea pitch in with their opinions about their countries ? Would be an interesting perspective.
Agreed. It would be interesting to hear from someone in China, Taiwan, Korea. I hope someone chimes in from those countries.
Well said. (That's good career advice: get a patent.) Ha! It's nice to hear I live in a socialist paradise. :-) I can feel half the audience cringing.
Because India is a democracy, is there any movement in India like the progressive movement in the early 20th Century in the US to get some worker protections in place via legislation? As you know, we had companies lobbying against labor protections here in US back then...and still do. It's a constant battle.
Thank you, GSMD for interesting comments about India. The US safety net isn't enough to keep anyone above the poverty line. Workers definitely need savings. Also in US, once you get to a certain age and you're laid off, it's very hard to find work again. Eventually you'll work your way through the safety net, such as unemployment insurance. US workers didn't always have a safety net from the government. Are Indians considering any kind of worker protections or safety net legistlation?
It is very sad to see layoff for anyone. The world economy is not so good, so it is hard to find jobs in any country. The article states that IBM has 130,000 workers in India and will layoff 2,000. That's only 1.5%, so not as bad as what I usually see in the US. I can understand that it hits harder since this is not the normal happening in India.
@Junko: I see this as begining of a trend. More multinationals are expected to follow similar path. May be they are calculating with new formulas. Delay in new product development - and lost market. Development of not so good or half good product - loosing good part of faithful customers. And accountants are smart to add all hidden cost cents and dollars to expenses developing abroad and highlighting actual development cost to be much higher.
People in north america work pretty hard and are smart. Everyone need to compete in real world. It is survival of fittest.
I'm gathering there are some engineers in US (and perhaps Europe) that may feel threatened by the outsourcing that has occured over the last couple of decades. So many hear (my self included) that you can get 10 engineers in China or India for the cost of one here in the US, stuff like that makes US engineers (pune intended) feel threathened, and of course feelings come into play. Hence some of the stinging comments on this article.
Long ago I reconciled my own misplaced feelings in this area, no matter what the outcome, I can only encourage people of any location or nationality to take up engineering. It has served me well over the last quarter of century. And my father and his father. And, most importantly, I've just enjoyed the shear technical challenges and would be glad to see any one experiance the same joy.
And, yes, no matter how a layoff is handled, it hurts and I emphathise with that.
But I'd loath to hear when the company management says layoffs are not personal. I find that "amoral."
Every layoff is "personal" to you, because your life is dependent on the job. While some of the reactions reported in this article seems a bit over the top, I think those laid off have every right to be outraged and get emotional about it.
@Junko: There are two sides of every coin. When you enjoy one part of western work culture you ougth to eventually face other side of this work culture - abrupt layoff. I do not see anything ominous. I take it as integral part of life, similar to health. It can happen to me or anyone else. What I rather suggest is to make this part of training so people do not get that upset.
On another note, Indians are very much versed with this phenomena. I take this type of news as shocking surprise is amoral.
And, on the lighter side, back in those days (approx. 1994) there was always a news story about a mysterious character appearing on one or more of the IBM campuses. that drew local news coverage .He wore a SuperMan costume and generally tried to create bad press!
But, the "S" on his outfit was not for SuperMan, it was for "Surplus" man :-) Geeze, I can laugh about it these days, wasn't funny back then... Have lots of stories like this, one day (the old cliche) - "I should write a book" applies :-)
Worked with a guy at Intel, he told me he accepted a job in Oregon (some Japanese tech company I seemed to recall). Picked up, drove his kids, dog, wife all the way from NE to Oregon. Arrived at work on Monday only to be told his manager and manager's team were let go the Friday before (i.e., he no longer had a job).
See; take solace in that when you have it bad, someone else is getting shafted even more ;-} And, yes, we have become jaded :-(
What was inhumane? Oh, the drama of it all! A "bloodbath"? "Turned into a slaughterhouse"??! So there were people being clubbed to death or chopped with machetes? Was the meat sold on the market? Or is this just terrible journalism? Maybe they were quotes, so just a bad journalist (blogger) that didn't ignor the inaccurate descriptions while looking for headlines rather than sane truth.
I'm sure IBM policy for lay-offs is very rational. One would hope the local management handled things professionally. Nothing I see in the writing indicates anything embarrasing, humiliating, or inhumane. Gee, they made you give back the company computers? You thought they should have let you keep them?
This handwriting was on the wall (IBM has been suffering for a while now) and their execs have indicated that "rebalancing" was coming. There never has been a promise of lifetime employment anywhere. If these disgruntled employees had found another job and were leaving IBM, would they have given 3 months notice, trained their successor, and still kept the laptop?