April 12, 2004

'It Was Hideously Awkward,' Ex-Worker Says of Situation

Employers say they need workers to train replacements to ensure a seamless transition, but the practice is coming under fire. In a congressional
hearing in February, some U.S. lawmakers denounced the training of replacements as "unconscionable."

When computer programmer Stephen Gentry learned last year that Boeing was laying him off and shipping his job overseas, he wasn't too surprised. Many
of his friends had suffered the same experience.

What really stunned him was his last assignment: Managers had him train the worker from India who'd be taking his job.
"It was very callous," says Gentry, 51, of Auburn, Wash., a father of three who is still unemployed. "They asked us to make them feel at home while we
trained them to take our jobs."

More cost-cutting companies are hiring workers in other countries to do jobs formerly held by U.S. employees. But in a painful twist, some employers
are asking the workers they're laying off to train their foreign replacements -- having them dig their own unemployment graves.
Almost one in five information technology workers has lost a job or knows someone who lost a job after training a foreign worker, according to a new
survey by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers. The study is the first to quantify how widespread the practice is.

Here's what typically happens: U.S. workers getting pink slips are told they can get another paycheck or beefed-up severance if they're willing to
teach workers from India, China and other countries how to do their jobs. The foreign workers typically arrive for a few weeks or months of training.
When they leave, they take U.S. jobs with them. The U.S. employees who trained them are then laid off.

Employers say they need workers to train replacements to ensure a seamless transition, but the practice is coming under fire.

Link: ecommercetimes.com

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