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chanj0
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Manager
Pink slip can be good
chanj0   2/18/2014 1:18:39 AM
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Receiving pink slip might ruin your day. Believe it or not, giving it is not any easier. Knowing the situation, your boss might hope every move that the company is making will turn the company around to adapt to the competitive market. Otherwise, more people might let go in the near future. What could be worse it when the company is going out of business.

On the other hands, you never know what the future takes you. The end of working for the company might actually the beginniing of your bright future. The experience and knowledge that you have earned might take you to next level elsewhere. Who knows, there might be another IBM, Indian Business Machine. ;)

Susan Rambo
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Blogger
Re: Layoffs in India
Susan Rambo   2/17/2014 11:12:45 PM
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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. 

GSMD
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Manager
Re: Layoffs in India
GSMD   2/17/2014 10:46:29 PM
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I am pretty familiar with the  US safety net (or lack thereof). Most of my career was spent working for US companies. I relocated back to India only a few years ago. Got laid off once in the middle of my paid sabbatical when my green card was also being processed ! You can imagine how I felt. Fortunately someone figured  staff level engineers with patents are not the best candidates for layoffs and i got shited to another group.  Also helped that your NSA was using a secure database that I helped develop. That experience so annoyed me that  when my GC finally arrived, I refused to accept it !

But there is at least is stuff like COBRA (in California). Here in India when you get fired, you lose medical insurance instantly. And if you have a pre-existing condition, it will not be covered for 4 years. Imagine an IBM executice with a heart problem being laid off.So the safest course is to have an equal amount of private medical insurance that you have at your workplace, paid entirely by you.

India is actually getting worse. Companies are lobbying for reducing labour protection. Currently labor laws are lax in the export zones. So if anything, the safety net will be degraded further. So there is absolutely no chance of any unemployment insurance, medicaid style support or any old age pension. This is true for most of Asia (Japan being an exception). Singapore for example  is also brutally capitalistic but at least Govt services are usable. It is kind of odd, compared to India, the US to me is  a socialist paradise ! It is time to unionize the IT industry here, or things could get a lot worse.

Can someone from China, Taiwan and Korea pitch in with their opinions about their countries ? Would be an interesting perspective.

Susan Rambo
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Blogger
Re: Layoffs in India
Susan Rambo   2/17/2014 10:15:25 PM
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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?

daleste
User Rank
CEO
Re: Welcome to world of reality!
daleste   2/17/2014 9:35:37 PM
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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.

GSMD
User Rank
Manager
Layoffs in India
GSMD   2/17/2014 8:56:04 PM
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Actually given the way employment works in India it is a bit inhumane. Some context would help non-Indians understand the situation a fired employee faces.

1. There is no social security

2. There is no unemployment insurance

3. There is no disability insurance

4. School Education is pretty much private ( there are govt. schools but after my dad went to school in the 40s, I cannot recall anyone who went to a govt school in my family !). Eng/medical/business education is different, the best ones are Govt. owned. A bach. degree at IIT Madras which can fetch you a 200-300 K USD salary costs less than some of the private schools !

5. No Obamacare equivalent but health insurance is still affordable in India. But remember in India medical insurance  covers only hospitalization. India may sound all socialistitic but for the lower moddle class and above there is actually no safety net in terms of govt services or support other than subsizdized fuel and higher education. Some states do give subidized prescriptions.  In other words, you better have a job or you are out on the streets. 

6. Massive social taboo if you get fired but that may be changing thanks to American companies ! But the local service companies typically never do layoffs so it will never be a "get used to it" situation for the majority. In any case, the courts will step in if this becomes common. I am surprised IBM has not been taken to court. Employment at will is not a legally tenable concept here.

7. Specifically wrt IBM HW engineers, remployment is difficult since everyone in HW is downsizing.

The consequences for all this wil be (my speculation)

- tougher for startups to get employees - thsi is a really unfortunate consequence. Job security suddenly become more important than higher salaries or tech. glory.

- easier for govt labs and universities to get researchers. Suddenly a lower paying Govt. job appears a lot more alluring. One of the labs we work with got a senior VLSI engineer last week for precisely this reason. He had got laid off from an Amrican company. So I am not complaining, my govt. lab suddenly is finding it easier to get staff! By extension, local services companies especially the TATA group entities (who still provide lifetime employment) will find lower attrition. 

- backlash against IBM, will be subtle but you can bet Govt. contracts will be harder to come by. And the state in which Bangalore is located is a high spender on IT services

_hm
User Rank
CEO
Re: Welcome to world of reality!
_hm   2/17/2014 5:56:11 PM
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@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.

vlsi_guy
User Rank
Manager
Re: Welcome to world of reality!
vlsi_guy   2/17/2014 5:52:00 PM
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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.

 

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: Welcome to world of reality!
junko.yoshida   2/17/2014 5:37:56 PM
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@_hm, I hear you. 

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.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: layoffs in IBM India
junko.yoshida   2/17/2014 5:32:03 PM
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@vlsi_guy, I wish you had taken a pix of the mysterious "Surplus" man! 

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