from the inbox:
Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) called for an end to a new program that’s using millions of taxpayer dollars to outsource American jobs to South Asia. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to spend $10 million to provide 3,000 Sri Lankan workers with English language proficiency classes as well as training in IT skills, call center support, and business process outsourcing.
Upon completion of the program, the newly-trained South Asian workers will be placed with American companies looking to outsource American jobs and take advantage of the region’s cheap labor. To make matters worse, these individuals are brought to the United States and the soon-to-be-outsourced American employees actually have to train the foreign workers in how to take over their job.
Standing outside PA CareerLinks, Bucks County’s one-stop career services center, Murphy called on USAID to abandon the program. He also announced that he is introducing new legislation to block funding for the program, should the agency continue moving forward. The amendment, to be included in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, prohibits federal funding for programs that use taxpayer dollars to encourage outsourcing.
Flanked by communications workers who are unemployed due to the recession, Murphy vowed to protect American jobs for American workers.
“We shouldn’t spend one penny of taxpayer money – much less $10 million dollars – to encourage outsourcing,” Murphy said. In light of the current economic situation, he added, a program that uses taxpayer dollars to train outsourced workers and place them with American companies is “beyond crazy. It’s cruel and it’s counterproductive.”
Jim Gardler, President of the Communications Workers of America Local 13000, agreed. He said he has plenty of members who were put out of work by the recession and who would be happy to take advantage of the IT training and computer programming skills that USAID plans to offer workers in South Asia.
“I’m glad we’ve got Patrick Murphy taking the lead on this issue and fighting to put American workers at the head of the line,” Gardler said. “We know Murphy is fighting for the middle-class, working families back home.”