Let’s face it: Canadian companies shipping Canadian jobs serving Canadian customers to cheaper Asian labour markets overseas is nothing new.
Who hasn’t called a bank, credit card, computer help, airline baggage, or a whole host of other service or warranty departments to find themselves talking to someone in India, the Philippines or Bangladesh!
But the Royal Bank of Canada has, according to several CBC National news reports, gone further than any and added insult to injury: not only telling 45 Toronto-based Information Technology workers they are losing their jobs; but instructing them to TRAIN, over the next two years, the teams of IT specialists from India who will be taking away their Canadian jobs.
RBC says it is just trying “to improve our operational processes and service, and re-invest in initiatives that enhance the client experience.”
I wanted to throw up when I read that.
I am no automatic foe of some degree of “globalization”: I can understand that, when it comes to mass production of consumer products, textiles, housewares etc., Canadian companies must manufacture and import many such goods from overseas in order to remain competitive.
I will also concede that keeping prices down that way helps MANY Canadian families to afford a better lifestyle or even some necessities they could otherwise not afford.
And I can even understand that it benefits the third world … especially the labourers who earn their livings in those overseas factories .. by spreading around our global spending to a greater extent. (Yes, the wages/conditions still may not be up to our standards and we should push/demand improvements … but just imagine what life would be like there for millions without such jobs.)
But farming out jobs that Canadians CAN do quite efficiently and productively … and frankly, from my experience, better than foreigners overseas … is nothing but EXCESSIVE CORPORATE GREED by companies that fail to understand THEIR client base, their profits, their very success is owed right HERE …. to Canadians, to Canadian depositors, to Canadian borrowers and to Canadian investors … not foreigners in the third world.
And for RBC to IMPORT into Canada, for two years, foreign workers to be trained by the Canadians whose jobs they will steal and take back to India, is the ultimate in “chutzpah” … nerve. And an insult to all Canadians … wherever they bank and whatever their economic ideology or politics.
So why would RBC do this so blatantly, so arrogantly and so confident it can get away with it?
Because, I believe, RBC believes it has a “friend” in the corporate-friendly Conservative federal government.
After all, this is the same federal government that allowed a China-owned mining company to IMPORT 200 CHEAPER miners from China …rather than hiring from the pool of available and enthusiastic Canadian miners … getting around the local workers by requiring Mandarin as a prerequisite for its BC MINING OPERATION!
It was a total farce and infuriated many Canadians , and Ottawa’s own reporting agency questioned the “genuineness” of the company search … BUT the feds reportedly still found the company “met or exceeded all requirements”.
THAT’S the problem! Under Harper and his government’s relaxed laws, regulations and policies … Canadians can be tossed aside INSIDE Canada for imported cheaper labour, even when there are Canadians ready, willing and anxious to do the work … but insist on a “living” wage and Canadian working conditions.
But there is hope.
Ottawa has now been publicly embarrassed by the CBC reports about the RBC snub at Canada and Canadian workers and the backlash of anger and resentment and, finally, the beginnings of a “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore” reaction coast to coast.
And Harper and his Tories ARE starting to feel the pressure from news reports, blogs like this and an increasingly aware and concerned Canadian population about: federal cutbacks to public services, slashing of environmental standards, staffing and regulations, cuts in information accessibility and the muzzling of public officials and scientists.
At the same time that the federal Liberals are showing new life, new leadership, new popularity in the polls.
If Harper and the Tories allow RBC and other Canadian banks and companies to not only circumvent Canadian workers seeking Canadian jobs right here in Canada … but even allow those companies to IMPORT foreign workers and force their employees here to train them, so they can take our jobs overseas, the Tory polls will continue to fall.
And maybe many of compliant federal Tory MPs and Cabinet ministers will sooner-than-they-think be unemployed themselves … and able to travel overseas to apply for jobs in India …. working for RBC.