- Thomas Walkom offers an insider's look at outsourcing:
- Meanwhile, Joanna Smith and Bea Vongdouangchanh both report on Joseph Stiglitz' speech yesterday - focusing on the need to combat inequality through investment in people and real regulation of rent-seekers and plutocrats - as providing an economic focal point for the NDP.Arlene says any outsourcing scheme begins with the institution’s senior management. Usually, she says, the aim is to transfer about 60 per cent of the affected jobs — often in back-shop areas like information technology — to India where wages are a fraction of those paid in Canada.
The remaining 40 per cent, which generally require more local support, are outsourced to third-party firms in Canada. They in turn, subcontract the jobs to individual Canadians.
The aim here, Arlene says, is to not only to save the bank money but ensure that it is legally insulated from those who work for it.
Technically, those Canadians doing outsourced work are viewed as self-employed. That means that the bank no longer has to pay statutory benefits such as Canada Pension Plan premiums.
In most cases, subcontracts with Canadian workers are renewed for up to two years. Then, in order to maintain the fiction that they are not real bank employees, they are let go. After a few weeks, they are rehired on another set of short-term contracts.
“It’s sad,” says Arlene. “Really and truly sad. If you’re on contract you have no security. You do exactly what you’re told or you’re gone. You look the wrong way at someone and you’re gone. If you even question someone, you’re gone.”
The former outsourcer says she now thinks outsourcing is monstrous. She says she left the field because she couldn’t bear it any more. She says she has seen too much damage up close.
She says outsourcing, either domestically or abroad, is destroying the dreams of young Canadians. She has a child of her own. She wants government to crack down on companies that, just to make a buck, deliberately kill good jobs.
- Joe Oliver became the first cabinet minister to say publicly what seems to be the Cons' obvious operating principle of denying that climate change exists (or calls for any policy whatsoever).
- Finally, Alex Himelfarb comments on the importance of public service. And in a fine example of the antithesis of that principle, Sixth Estate explores the traditional dirty politics at work in Peter Penashue's remarkable boast that he used his cabinet position to deliberately refuse to approve a needed project in order to push funding into his own riding.