By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Globe bites Times Co.

Kudos to the Boston Globe this morning, which runs an op-ed piece blasting the New York Times Co. for outsourcing 45 Globe jobs to Bangalore, India.

The column, by Massachusetts AFL-CIO president Robert Haynes and journalist-turned-PR-consultant Jeremy Crockford, makes the point that the Times Co. is shipping jobs overseas just as the leaders of more-enlightened companies are beginning to realize that’s incompatible with quality customer service. They write:

If it doesn’t make sense for Comcast or Dell, it certainly doesn’t make sense for The Boston Globe. Bad business decisions have dogged the Globe over the last 10 years and helped push circulation and revenues steadily downward. It’s time the paper’s owners turned to their own business pages and followed the lead of more savvy corporate thinkers. It’s time to give local people back the jobs they are sending to Bangalore.

Here is an earlier piece, on the AFL-CIO Web site, about the labor group’s efforts to stop the Times Co. from outsourcing Globe jobs.

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  1. Neil

    Good for them. That’s a great opinion piece. It’s also depressing to see, at the bottom of the online version of the article, that the first among the robo-generated ads from Google is a link to a company that outsources the very finance jobs that the Globe is outsourcing. And the rotating image in the upper left of that company’s page overlays an image of North America with a series of people who look like they’re from Sweden rather than Bangalore. You have to really look around the site to see any mention of where their offices are but sure enough, Mumbai and Chennai are among them. They don’t mention that in the text anywhere though. In the employment section they advertise “Team Associate”, location Chennai, must have college degree and 3 years experience processing transactions. Deceptive creeps.

  2. Anonymous

    Why is our economy more important than that of Bangalore?

  3. Anonymous

    when’s the last time you got a coffee, bagel and paper at the bangalore dunkin’s?

  4. Amusedbutinformedobserver

    The treatment of some of the Brazilian immigrants who work for the Globe’s newspaper distribution arm would make a very interesting investigative piece for some enterprising journalist. Start with the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage/overtime laws

  5. John Galt

    The idea of constant uprooting, then relocating menial jobs would fade from the business world if the tax benefits encouraging such were eradicated.

  6. mike_b1

    To tie the “solution,” as it were, to tax laws is oversimplification. Wall Street pushes companies to seek out low-labor cost regions, even if the logistical costs of moving factories and products around the globe undermines the corporate balance sheet. See SAMN, a $10-billion electronics manufacturer, which took 20 (not a typo) straight quarters of “one-time” charges thanks in large part to Wall Street’s insistence that 1) it borrow/spend to make a series of ill-advised acquisitions and 2) it move plants offshore. Not to mention that, like a brush fire, clearing out the lower level jobs frees up workers to move to the next level. Ask any business owner: their biggest problem today is not taxes, or labor rates, etc. It is finding competent, English-speaking workers. If the U.S. is to move to higher-tech product development, the menial stuff has to go. Too much media concentrates on government/business not doing enough to save what, in the long run, are lousy jobs.

  7. Neil

    These Globe jobs aren’t menial though, unless we start “defining menial up”. What’s a “lousy” job in this context–any job that’s vulnerable to outsourcing? The only jobs that cannot be outsourced are those that require your physical presence in the US. Like say, washing the dishes. Much accounting work can be outsourced, but a dishwasher’s job cannot. Is accounting a lousy job, and washing the dishes a good one?The US worker gets it from both ends–skilled work gets offshored, and unskilled work gets done by illegal workers working for substandard wages and without any workplace rights. Great.I’m not surprised to see that though the Globe was able to sneak that op-ed in, it hasn’t published a single letter to the editor about it.The Google robo-ad for the accounting outsource site is still attached to the original op-ed–check out the rotating image in the upper left. Does anybody look like they’re from Bangalore? How about this–if you’re going to outsource to India because you claim that Wall St forces you to (sorry, got no choice, it’s just business!), and oh by the way your CEO’s multi-million dollar salary can’t be touched, at least be up front about it.

  8. mike_b1

    Working the press is menial. IT (most types) today is menial. Rewriting/copyediting AP stories is definitely menial.

  9. Neil

    Sorry, I mangled the link in my last comment. Check out the workers of Bangalore in the rotating image on the upper left of this accounting outsourcing site, that advertises on the Globe.

  10. Anonymous

    Dear Comment Deleted: Great point. While I disagree with some of what you wrote – “removed by the author” – I think you may be onto something here.

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