||Issue No. 327||06 October 2006|
The Road to Bangalore
Interview: Cowboys and Indians
Industrial: Seven Deadly Sins
Unions: The IT Factor
Politics: Bargain Basement
Environment: An Inconvenient Hoax
Corporate: Two Sides
International: Unfair Dismissals
History: A Stitch in Time
Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Data Farmers' Bitter Harvest
As the backlash against off-shoring of jobs to India gathers steam, a report by Britain's Channel 4 'Dispatches' program exposes major security breaches in centres Australian banks are targeting as cheap labour bases.
The report, the product of a 12-month investigation, films an Indian middleman offering hundreds and thousands of "hot leads", with full banking and financial profiles of UK customers.
The report backs concerns raised by Australian unions that lax privacy laws will compromise the data of Australia customers if IT processing work is sent to India.
Opposition leader Kim Beazley weighed into the campaign, endorsing the union call for 'right to know' laws that would require businesses sending details overseas to disclose this to their customers.
"When businesses seek savings by off shoring jobs to overseas data processing centres, it's only reasonable that their Australian customers are told," Beazley says.
"That way, consumers can stay in control of their personal data, and make informed choices about which businesses they want to deal with. "
Sharing the Spirit
Meanwhile, shareholders in Australia's major banks are being asked to sponsor resolutions that would force the off-shoring of jobs to India to be abandoned.
The Finance Sector Union has placed in major newspapers around Australia Monday calling on shareholder to back resolutions to be put to upcoming Annual General Meetings of Westpac, ANZ, NAB and St George.
The resolutions call on the boards of these banks, who are all looking to send significant numbers of jobs offshore to India, to reconsider this strategy in the interests of the company share price.
Each resolution required the signatures of 100 shareholders to be placed on the AGM agenda. It was then up to shareholders to vote on the issue.
FSU national secretary Paul Schroder says that investors who care about share value would back the resolution.
"We know that the public is opposed to Australian jobs being sent off-shore and that customers of these banks don't want their personal information sent to countries with inferior privacy protections.
"The concern of staff and shareholders is that in taking short term cost-cutting options these banks may actually undermine confidence in their ability to securely manage their customers accounts."
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