July 14, 2006 E-MAIL PRINT

Outsourcing: Part Three

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts about the outsourcing news we've received from Dow Jones.

On July 13th this company discarded 7 employees in Customer Service and 22 in IT (on top of the two dozen who were "given notice" last month in Finance.)

Another 29 Dow Jones employees who did their job— and more— every single day— to build the kind of quality operation management depends on — and likes to brag about.

It's one thing to lose your job— it's quite another to be treated the way these 29 are being treated.


Not only are they being told "you're gone" (even though you've done a great job over all these years,) you're going to be expected to keep working here for another two months— and you're expected to train employees of an outside contractor who will do your job at a fraction of what Dow Jones was paying you.

And to add insult to injury: Dow Jones has refused to offer any extra compensation for your "knowledge transfer." In fact, the company has made it clear, if these once-valued employees leave before this company has squeezed-out all the knowledge they have, Dow Jones will move to deny them any of the severance package outlined in the contract.

The company's approach is short-sighted, self-defeating and insulting.

Here's what IAPE is doing:

1) Several of the layoffs proposed by the company are out of position of seniority, a direct violation of the contract. We will take these to grievance and arbitration immediately, a fight we have won in the past.

2) The company isn't giving adequate retraining allowances as provided in the contract. We will immediately fight for what our colleagues deserve.

3) It will be a top priority of upcoming bargaining to tighten the job security provisions in the contract and prevent the company from making shortsighted workforce decisions that hurt our members— and the company — in the long run.

In the movie "Ben-Hur" a Roman general tells a galley slave "We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live."

The latest decisions by Dow Jones should remove any doubts that employees might have had about this company. "We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live."

The only protection we have is the contract. There should no longer be any illusion that you're working for a company who will repay your years of service and loyalty with respect and compassion.

Every one of the outsourcing issues will be addressed in the next round of contract bargaining. But remember, we'll get only what we're strong enough to take.

What we do together will determine whether Dow Jones will treat its employees as the professionals it so often likes to brag about— or continue to simply "keep you alive to serve this ship."

This is your job. This is your money. These are your benefits. This is your union.

Steve Yount

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