4.06.2004

A MUST READ!
Workers asked to train foreign replacements USA Today via Yahoo!News (4/06)

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."

'Callous'? What Mr. Gentry probably wanted to say was "Fucking sadistic" but he's also probably too polite. But we aren't. Bastards.
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.

Gee, where have we heard that before?
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.

In a congressional hearing in February, some lawmakers denounced the training of replacements as "unconscionable."

No, that's 'fucking unconscionable.'
On a Friday in 2003, the former WatchMark software tester was part of a team of workers summoned to a meeting. There, she says, managers handed out letters explaining that the testing staff was being laid off. Managers then told the group that their replacements would be workers in India, she says. The workers were flying in and would be in the office Monday. She says she was instructed to train them.

Bronstein felt trapped. She says she believes that if she refused, she would have probably been fired without severance and would have been ineligible for unemployment benefits. If she quit, she says, she wouldn't have received severance or been eligible for unemployment.

The next week, she and the other employees facing layoffs were introduced to the workers who were taking their jobs. The workers from India, she says, would be earning a sixteenth of what she had been paid.

"I was staring hard at my shoes and trying not to cry. It was hideously awkward. I felt forced," says Bronstein, 48, of Mercer Island, Wash. She is still unemployed. "It was very deflating and dehumanizing to train your replacement. I felt sucker-punched. It was as if they handed us a shovel and said, 'Here, dig your own grave.'"

Competition is still open folks: what do we call it (besides 'sick,' 'sadistic,' and 'fucking unconsionable') when you have to train your own replacement like this? Use the comments feature!

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