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WORKERS, DECEMBER 2003 ISSUE

It is estimated that during the next ten years 800,000 jobs including at least 50,000 senior management jobs will be 'off-shored'. This abuse of the English language essentially means that 800,000 jobs will be exported from Britain - off our shores.

Whereas in the 1970s and 1980s imports of cheap goods from the Far East undermined Britain's textile, car vehicle, machine tool and manufacturing base, we are now seeing a new twist. The British capitalists who brought in cheap imports are now exporting jobs to the Far East so that they can profit from returning the services to Britain. What started with the export of call centre jobs will now increase and include technology-driven jobs.

Job losses will accelerate over the next ten years. Lloyds TSB, 1,000 jobs; Barclays, 350 jobs; HSBC, 4,000 jobs; National Rail Enquiries. 600 jobs - these companies are joined by British Airways, BT, BUPA, Reuters, Standard Chartered, Norwich Union, Abbey, Prudential and Avia.

The simple guiding principle is profit. The average call centre wage in Britain is 12,000, in India 2,800. India, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka are willing recipients of this type of work, returning the services by satellite and internet to the enquirer in the UK.

Low-wage jobs in Britain are to be replaced by lower wages in the Far East. This new form of colonialism will set India at China at Malaysia at Sri Lanka - all with the intent to drive down wages even further.

If the strategy of Blair and Livingstone for London and the South East is based on finance and technology, and these are the jobs to be targeted for 'off-shoring', what future for London and the South East?

It is estimated in the United States that 3.3 million jobs will be 'off-shored' by 2015. Strange that anything positive comes out of the USA but a number of States are outlawing the transfer of work 'off-shore'.

To save jobs and prevent the undermining of national economies workers are going to have to use the power of consumer boycotts to cripple 'off-shoring'. Make them answer good old-fashioned letters; drive up their costs and make this 21st century slave trade in people and technology uneconomic - make it nationally, answer it nationally.

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