Good Morning Silicon Valley
February 6, 2009
IBM may be quietly laying off thousands of workers (see “Careers abbreviated at AOL, SAP, IBM“), but it still has opportunities available. Displaced employees at its North American facilities, for instance, are being given an opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the world of cheap offshore labor.
According to an internal document obtained by InformationWeek, Big Blue has a program called Project Match that helps U.S. and Canadian workers whose jobs have been cut relocate to places where the company still has openings — specifically, developing markets like India, China and Brazil. “Should you accept a position in one of these countries,” the notice explains, “IBM offers financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move.” The tradeoff? You have to be “willing to work on local terms and conditions,” living on the low wages that helped undercut the domestic job you just lost.
The employee advocacy group Alliance@IBM sees the program as a slap in the face to go with the push out the door, saying, “IBM is not only offshoring IBM U.S. jobs but they want employees to offshore themselves through Project Match.” The company, naturally, puts it in more positive terms. “It’s more of a vehicle for people who want to expand their life experience by working somewhere else,” said a spokesman. “A lot of people want to work in India.”