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US Senate to take up bill against BPO
January 23, 2004 11:06 IST
In a boost to the opponents of outsourcing of high-tech jobs to countries like India, a $328 billion spending bill aimed at prohibiting government contractors from shifting work overseas would come up before the United States Senate this week.
The provision, if accepted by the Senate, is likely to become the first Federal law that limits companies from performing contracted work outside the US ever since outsourcing became a potent political issue an year ago.
The Chamber of Commerce and other business groups said the move would undercut the ability of US companies to compete with their overseas rivals, media reports said.
"There are a lot of ramifications of this -- practically, politically and economically," said Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, which represents IBM and other contractors.
"We should be taking time to step back and look at this issue before rushing forward," he said.
Meanwhile, more than 150 corporate executives, many paying $1,400 a head, listened intently for tips on how to move jobs overseas at a conference on 'offshore outsourcing' which opened this week, reports said.
With the loss of jobs to other countries being thrust into the spotlight in the run-up to the US presidential polls, the trend of moving white-collar positions overseas has grown so controversial that attendees from major corporations such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems declined to comment, the reports said.
Outside the venue of the conference sponsored by the Strategic Research Institute, a group of spirited demonstrators protested shifting US jobs overseas.
James Pace, who was in the IT industry for 23 years as a programmer, asked, "We were told to make a career change. Where am I supposed to go now?"
"I went from a $100,000-a-year job to a $35,000-a-year job," he said as he stood shivering outside the Westin New York at Times Square hotel.
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