I certianly don't claim to be an expert on the pros and cons of globalisation. From my first hack at getting this article up I got a eloquent response which i summarised and included. I'll attach that post below.
This was contributed by RandomPeon, I can't make contact so I hope he doesn't mind. I don't claim this to be correct just because it was written down but perhaps you'd care to comment...
"This made me think.
If this were done by a for-profit corporation, I'd be righteously pissed off. Why? That corporation, in return for receiving a charter and services from its government, has an obligation to be socially useful to the citizens of the chartering government. Under US law, corporations that have a net detrimental effect on society can be disbanded, although this power is never used anymore. (Things might be different legally down under, but the moral reason to create corporations - they benefit society - is still the same.)
Second, a public for-profit corporation is essentially required to mistreat these workers. If they can get away with paying starvation wages or firing someone who is sick, they have an obligation to do so in order to maximize their profits. Corporations must maximize shareholder value, even if it involves mistreating people.
Third, it involves exploiting the cheaper cost of living in India. An Indian programmer works for less for four reasons: 1) no labor laws, 2) lower standard of living, 3) greater supply of labor, and 4) tremendously lower cost of living. In unskilled labor, 1 & 3 are the primary reasons wages are at starvation levels. Among skilled workers, 4 is the main reason wages are lower. Assuming $1 US = $1 AU, if you paid me that much money, I would have to work for two weeks to pay my Janurary heating bill (this must seem very strange to an Aussie - Jan heating bill :-). On the other hand, my Indian counterpart probably pays nothing for heat, and essentially nothing for housing(by comparison). The problem with corporations exporting production is that this means that I now have to compete against someone with living expenses that are less than 20% of mine.
Hell, in the US, we use our H1-B visa program to mistreat Indians who work in IT here. One of my foreign colleague's wife lost her job here and was unable to find another job within 10 (?) days. Bye, Raja. (This is before the INS (Immigration and Naturlization Service) changed the rules).
But, your idea is different. You're not trying to make a buck, so you can pay a decent wage without worrying about your profits. You're not trying to globalize IT labor market and screw Western workers in exportable fields into the ground. But I don't know if it's that different....
That said, couple suggestions:
1) Pay your third-world employees substantially above the market wage. It's only fair, you've got the money, and you shouldn't exploit their lack of labor protections. You get what you pay for too.
2) Don't throw more work at them than is fair.
3) The Golden Rule.
There are one or two things which have already been indicated to be incorrect in that. From other posts it seems that there are quite stringent labor laws.
My opinion on fair... If the situation were reversed (which it could quite easliy be, any london/american coders interested? :) would I consider it a good deal in terms of renumeration and risk, would i take up the offer .
Klamath, how about yourself, given the oppertunity what would your reaction be? and, why?
[ Parent ]