Arizona Utility Company Outsourcing Jobs To Indian Bodyshops
August 19, 2009, 05:30 AM
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The Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP) decided to outsource their IT department to the two Indian owned bodyshops Accenture and Infosys. SRP officials claim that outsourcing the jobs will save them money but they won't say how much.

Barbara Hoffnagle, assistant general manager and chief information executive, made a statement that on the surface seems to make sense, but upon reflection is bizarre:

Some of the work that could be outsourced is done now by contract workers, she said, but outsourcing could help SRP because the utility would no longer have to manage the workers. [SRP considers outsourcing to save money, by Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, August 10, 2009]
You can be sure that most of the decisions to outsource are being made by bean counters with MBA degrees. Their degree is in MANAGEMENT, yet they're complaining about the burden of having to MANAGE employees. Hopefully once their computer people are fired SRP will decide to no longer burden the MBAs by having to come to work because there are no more people for them to manage.

SRP paints an optimistic forecast of the fate of those who will lose their jobs, but the reality will be quite different for most of them. Some of them will lose their houses, but that will go unnoticed in the Phoenix metro area where foreclosures are epidemic. Most of them will be hard pressed to find a job in the depressed Arizona economy.

This is the type of standard boilerplate all companies tell the news media when they are going to throw their employees on the street:

RP officials said that between 40-50 jobs are at stake, but that some employees who work in IT have been leaving for other jobs because of the likelihood of outsourcing. Others are being encouraged to seek positions in other IT areas that won't be outsourced, Hoffnagle said.
Doesn't it make you feel good to know that SRP employees have been quitting, ostensibly for high paying jobs, and undisclosed numbers of them will be "encouraged" to find other types of jobs at SRP?

So, in order to save a fistful of dollars, SRP is disposing a few dozen of their American employees. Nobody including SRP seems to be concerned with the fact that Indian nationals will control the computer systems for large parts of Arizona's water and electricity infrastructure. To make matters even worse Arizona residents who are captive customers of SRP will have no say in how their personal data is used by the Indians. National security and personal privacy always seems to play a back seat role when corporate profits are to be realized.

In other SRP news: they are raising rates for electricity that will increase their revenue by $200 million and they are applying for federal stimulus funds (they haven't disclosed how many hundreds of millions of dollars) that are supposed to be used to create jobs.