January post; Why are the “99%” protesting?

My profile states I’m a corporate technology executive for a huge company, which turns out to be a financial institution.  So what! but I guess that makes me part of the 1 percent.  Even if I’m dangling by a thread, at this exact moment in time, that’s where I am. 

I’ve been losing sleep over the recent occupy wall street protests or the so called 99%.  I hear  comments like they’re jerks, get a job, new age hippies, nobody even knows what it is they’re actually protesting, losers! 

I only know what I know; my world which is corporate technology.  The more I thought about it, the more I started to understand what the 99% is protesting, about.

OK so here are some reasons why the 99% are protesting (specific to my world):                 

Corporation X like all the rest go offshore for technology resources. Not happy with it but have to accept it. This is NOT what’s being protested. Believe it or not this actually makes sense; send all the “grunt” work, the software construction and ONLY that to be developed @ $20 per hour. This will allow the technology workers here in the U.S. to become subject matter experts for their companies, delivering detailed specifications and requirements to the off shore contractor to develop (build, code or program). Then when the work is completed, it’s sent back and tested HERE before implementing HERE. This then becomes a win win and a huge save in overhead and product development. This if done right can actually have a positive impact and even alter the PE ratio of the company (something a former visionary of my company once said).  Net/net; great for investors.

However, ALL these companies utilizing offshore vendors (or global partners as they’re now called) also have off shore resources working here in the U.S.; this is what is being protested. This is complicated; on the one side it could be looked upon as our companies here abusing this outsourcing opportunity, or not caring enough to monitor it close enough to ensure there is no abuse. On the other side it’s the trap set by the offshore vendor which we walk right into; the only way to keep offshore resources available to do the “grunt work” at $20 per hour (paid to the vendor NOT the worker, who knows what the worker gets IF ANYTHING!!) is to lure them with the promise of getting a visa to travel and work in the U.S.

What sucks here and what’s also being protested is this technology visa (scam?).  Work visa’s are approved mainly because of the premise that there’s no one in this country that can do this work! Tell that to the >100K college students that graduate every year with degrees in technology. 

Also lets take politics out of the equation here (imagine that)because these graduates are sons and daughters of both the left and the right and the protesters and the protesters of the protesters. (huh?)

Current company/Vendor rate cards show the off shore contractor working on site in the U.S. have the same rates and often times higher than domestic contractors.

I know this because I personally interviewed a local out of work contractor with equal technical skill and better communication skills for $20 per hour LESS than the off shore contractor working on site here in the U.S.

Just to be clear; the offshore contractor working here in the U.S. had a rate of $67 per hour, the out of work local contractor with equal technical skill and superior communication skills was asking $47 per hour.

This IS what they’re protesting; there should be no local former FTE (full time employee)now forced to work as a contractor, out of work because of an offshore contractor working on site in the U.S.

The dilemma; if the offshore contractors actually working offshore learn there’s no interest or chance of having them come here to work and live when so many of our own are out of work they will protest over there (something they do well and often).

 Who cares? Well the offshore vendor (duh) all the money is going to them.

What do they do? They lower the on site U.S. rate charged to the U.S. corporations for their contractors over there to come and work over here. They make the rate low enough that NO U.S. technology resource can apply. Like say fixed rate for both on and off shore @ $25 per hour. With this low cost for domestic technology resources, companies wouldn’t even attempt to actually look local.

The result; more local unemployment (for no good reason).  More local unemployment!

Hmm… I wonder how many mortgages approved by the financial institutions are in foreclosure because of this exact issue?  I wonder how many times companies shoot themselves in the foot because of the actual price of having offshore workers working here in the U.S.?  This is what’s being protested. 

What’s next? Well, after the extreme low rate contract expires, they the offshore vendors re-negotiate it back to the more competitive rate and the cycle replays itself.

What can we do? Well….. PROTEST!!!!!!

It’s real easy to just talk the talk and I’m learning to do that well.  What about walking the walk?  We all read this and some will agree but how many will actually take action?

On Friday, I have a meeting in my company with HR to discuss this.  I may not have the courage to protest but I have the courage to at least take some action.  My goal is to put as many local technology resources currently out of work (NOT due to the economy but due to their job being performed by an offshore contractor currently working here in the U.S. AND at a higher rate!!),  back to work (where they belong).




About clobosco4468

Charlie Lobosco is a Corporate Technology Executive, Shared Leadership Expert, Agile Coach and trainer with lessons learned in over (20) Fortune ranked Corporations since 1973! Charlie is Co-Founder (with Eva Lewandowski) of the VisionOp Group LLC a consulting, coaching and training company. For more go to charlieandeva.com
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