Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hypocrisy in Ohio: Clinton & Obama Avoid Outsourcing Issue

Even while LexisNexis and parent company Reed Elsevier are making local, state wide, national and international news with plans for eliminating all possible white collar jobs in Ohio, both Clinton and Obama have been completely silent on the subject.

So far, Obama has used
NAFTA as a club to hit at Clinton in Ohio. However, the 1,000 plus high tech and "back office" white collar jobs are seemingly "off the radar screen" for the press, the politicians and most people.

Of course, LexisNexis was the archtype information age corporation back in the 90s during the time that Hillary's hubby was busy twisting arms and buying votes to ram
NAFTA through Congress. I well recall Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich lecturing us all on how we need to remake ourselves for the jobs of the information age.

Well, I "remade" myself. I became a software engineer at considerable financial expense and investment of time. I've even worked for several international "Fortune 500" corporations in "high profile" IT jobs where I've directly faced the offshoring and H-1b worker replacement issues.

And now, the hype surrounding the transition to an "information age" economy has mostly disappeared, replaced instead by euphemisms like "global economy" and "global competitiveness". As I've seen in my experiences, the "information age" jobs are being filled by lower cost foreigners at every possible opportunity.

In OHIO, though Obama and Clinton will NOT discuss it, the offshore outsourcing of manufacturing/industrial/"factory" jobs has been followed by widespread use of H-1b and L-1 guest worker replacement programs at well known OHIO corporations. Corporations such as (once "Fortune 500") NCR have followed the IBM model and moved *all* engineering/development work offshore.

Now, after years of having a large offshore component in partnership with Indian outsourcing companies such as HCL and Infosys *and* using many (foreign) H-1b guest workers directly and through contractors, Dayton-based but internationally known, LexisNexis is about to move all remaining Information Technology ("IT") and other "back office" white collar work offshore to
INDIA. The Elsevier IT group in Dayton developing for and supporting Scopus and Science Direct online services is likewise targeted for offshoring.

Of course, we shouldn't be surprised that this information isn't making news... Obama and Clinton would both have too many hard questions to answer about their claims that education is the key to our economic prosperity...

I find it interesting that even as the middle class jobs situation is WORSE in
Ohio now than it was 4 years ago, neither Obama nor Clinton even use the "O-words" -- offshoring, outsourcing and offshore outsourcing. I take this as nothing more than cynicism and hypocrisy. They posture about education being the panacea but enable the outsourcing with their support for "guest worker" programs used to displace some of the best educated and highest skilled American workers.

Following on is a recently piece from the
Dayton Daily News re. the offshoring plans underway at RE and LN in metro-Dayton, OH.

LexisNexis parent expected to announce cost cuts

By Thomas Gnau
Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
MIAMI TWP., Montgomery County — Reed Elsevier, the parent company of LexisNexis, which has some 3,000 employees in Miami Twp., will this week outline plans to cut costs across its divisions, London's Financial Times has reported.
Another British newspaper, the Telegraph, has reported that London-based Reed plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs over the next two years, most of them outside Britain .
The Anglo-Dutch company is expected to announce measures to save at least 100 million pounds a year, equivalent to 10 percent of the pre-tax profit the company is expected to announce Thursday, Feb. 21, the Times said. One British pound equaled about $1.95 in U.S. currency recently.
"We're not going to comment before the earnings release," David Kurt, a Chicago-based spokesman for LexisNexis, said Tuesday, Feb. 19.
In November, the company acknowledged that a "small number" of Dayton-area jobs will be outsourced. No definite number was given at the time, but a spokesman said then that a "small percentage" of the company's Miami Twp. work force will be affected.
At the time, a spokesman said LexisNexis' efforts to improve "operational efficiencies" will result in "an unknown number of positions being eliminated in our overall Dayton operations in 2008 and beyond."
LexisNexis has not warned township government that employee cuts are coming, said Gregory Rogers, assistant township administrator for Miami Twp. government. While he said that the company is "always making changes to their structures," the company has not advised the township of future changes.
LexisNexis is among the township's top three employers, Rogers said.
Holly Michael, a local LexisNexis spokeswoman, said she did not know how Reed cuts may "trickle down" to local LexisNexis operations and declined further comment.
"We shall be offering no comment on the recent press stories in the U.K. media about Reed Elsevier ahead of our annual results on Thursday," said Patrick Kerr, a Reed spokesman.
The Times said Reed Elsevier's savings are expected to be enacted in the next three years.
The paper also said Reed is expected to "centralize" back-office activities around its legal, business, science and medical divisions.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2390 or tgnau@DaytonDailyNews.com.

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