U.K.-based financial information and news giant Reuters
On Monday, Reuters said it would do away with as many as 20 editorial jobs in the U.S. and Europe -- the positions could be eliminated by layoffs, attrition, or not filling open jobs -- and replace them with between 40 and 60 new jobs in India. Now, the company has been warned of a lawsuit from a New York-based writers' union alleging the breach of a collective bargaining agreement.
The news probably didn't come as a massive shock to Reuters employees. Cost cutting is a big reason the company is back in the black, and the news reflects its desire to build on a successful pilot program, rather than a completely new development. Still, the apparent desire to outsource reporters and financial analysts has to be unsettling, generally speaking, for white-collar folks who perhaps didn't foresee offshoring's tendrils reaching so far into their lives. (I know they unsettle me!)
The long-term outcome for journalists and other such folk -- Reuters isn't planning to outsource writers so much as data-related workers for now -- is increasingly cloudy. You can bet Dow Jones
From a manager's perspective, it's difficult to justify not looking for ways to capitalize on large, capable, affordable worker pools when possible. It's your duty to stockholders, though you'd certainly have to consider impacts on morale and other factors (such as the legal angle, as referenced above).
For workers, meanwhile, it's more important than ever to think about ways to make you and your job as outsource-proof as possible, if only because it's growing increasingly clear that many who thought themselves safe likely aren't.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison has been "made redundant" -- though never offshored -- but he doesn't own any companies in this story.