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Sacked Westpac workers forced to train their Indian replacements

Canberra, Sun, 22 Jan 2012 ANI

Canberra, Jan 22(ANI): Sacked Westpac workers are being forced to train their Indian replacements.


At least 188 employees who have been laid- off in a large-scale restructure of the bank's technology and back office divisions had played a key role in maintaining the bank's Information Technology systems.


After the so-called "knowledge transfer", the overseas workers will arrive in India to teach their colleagues, who would be paid less than Westpac's Australian employees.


The overseas workers are contracted to Westpac by outsourcing companies including Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services and have been brought to Australia on the employer-sponsored 457 visa.


But the Australian government has warned that the companies could be breaching immigration rules by bringing in foreign staff to replace Australian employees.


"She has been shadowing me, sitting next to me and I have to teach her how to do my day-to-day job. Basically sitting next to me like a sponge, sucking in as much information as possible. It's devastating. I feel insulted and very low," quoted Westpac staffer Russell Siachico, as saying


Another Westpac staffer said the new recruits "don't have any experience in testing systems and most of them have never worked in a bank."


Westpac employee relations head Michael Johnston admitted that sending Australian jobs overseas was "an important element of the Westpac Group's strategy".


He stressed that the staff had to "act professionally" in assisting their replacements.


"You will appreciate that there may be a greater level of assistance expected as part of any transition activities," he added. (ANI)


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