Outsourcing is for Quitters

Local 856 Secretary-Treasurer Peter Finn (center) with President Mike Lagomarsino (left) and San Mateo Supervisor David Canepa (right) at the Local 856 PHS unfair labor practice strike on March 17, 2017.

When many of us hear the term “outsourcing”, we might only think of offshoring—the practice of shipping American jobs out of the country. But outsourcing is much more than that. It also includes the subcontracting of jobs that were once done in-house to the lowest bidder and the privatization of our public services. Outsourcing in all its forms is the result of poor management and destroys middle-class jobs, our communities, and the quality of products and level of services.

The devastating impact of outsourcing has been seen firsthand by those who have spent their career in the airline industry. Thousands of people put out of work, good middle-class jobs shipped out of the local economy, degradation of the quality of service, pensions stolen, morale crushed, and pride in working for the company stripped away. All this based on the decision of greedy corporate executives to chase short-term profits over investing in quality and the people that keep the flying public safe. United Airlines mechanic and steward Mikey Albertin couldn’t be more right when he says, “Outsourcing is for quitters.”

In other words, the decision to outsource, is management’s decision to quit. They are deciding to quit on their employees, quit on the local economy, and quit on the public. Foreign outsourcing outright eliminates good middle-class jobs. Domestic outsourcing transforms quality jobs into independent contract work that lacks a decent salary, benefits and retirement security. Outsourcing through the privatization of public services cuts wages, lowers access to health care, and increases turnover.

When jobs are sent overseas, the community suffers as money is stripped from the local economy. When good jobs are outsourced domestically by employers attempting to boost profits, pay and benefits decrease and the end result is a shrinking middle class. Privatization of public services worsens inequality by creating a race to the bottom on labor costs and undermining the very public services needed most by those in our community that are least fortunate.

Chasing cheap dollars to pad the bottom line through outsourcing sacrifices longterm quality of products and services. Giving up local operational control to a sub-contractor interested more in maximizing their own company’s profits over providing quality output has a negative impact on customers. Outsourcing the skill, knowledge, and experience of dedicated in-house employees that are committed to quality work leads to a poor product and reduced service levels. The end result is that customers and the public suffer.

Put simply, quitting on working people, quitting on the community, and quitting on customers through outsourcing is bad business.

Stand With 856

We need to do everything in our power to educate elected officials and members of the community to call on them to stand with 856 to fight outsourcing. And in doing so, it is critical to highlight the value of the work we do as Teamsters 856 members to help people, demonstrate the quality and commitment we bring to the job, and raise awareness of the difference we make. Everyone needs to know what we know: good work, done by good people, makes a difference.

—Peter Finn, Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer

Find out more at StandWith856.com.