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Outsourced IT workers ask Feinstein for help, get form letter in return

Patrick Thibodeau | Oct. 13, 2016
Senator responds to University of California IT employees whose jobs are going to India

Specifically, Feinstein's office wrote back:

"Thank you for your letter expressing your concern with the outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond as this issue is of particular importance to me.

"I have received many heartfelt letters from Californians who have either lost their jobs when their company moved jobs overseas, or know people who have. It is very troubling to me that the downsizing of companies and the outsourcing of jobs appears to be becoming a trend not only in California, but nationwide. The striking loss of good jobs in California certainly indicates that both the downsizing of companies and the outsourcing of jobs are playing an increasingly prevalent role in our economy.

"As such, I believe that instead of excusing the loss of high paying jobs as inevitable, we should be taking reasonable and sensible measures to stop encouraging U.S. companies to move their employees overseas. For example, our tax code frequently rewards companies for moving jobs offshore by allowing the companies to bring foreign earned profits back into the U.S. at a rate well below what you or I pay on our income taxes.

"We also need to invest in our future. We must continue to fund and strengthen our domestic education system, which has made Americans the most productive and skilled workforce in the world. Furthermore, we must invest in appropriate safety nets for those who are temporarily displaced by shifts in domestic industry. Such safety nets would include the extension of temporary unemployment benefits, more affordable healthcare for those between jobs, and more robust job training and placement services for people displaced by outsourcing.

"I am very troubled by the loss of American jobs and will continue to investigate the roots of this problem to arrive at an appropriate and effective solution. Please know that I will continue to work hard to keep good jobs in the U.S. and to keep Americans employed.

"Again, thank you for writing. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841."

On Tuesday, Feinstein’s office was contacted by Computerworld about the communication. An aide to the senator who didn’t want to be identified said via email that the Feinstein reply “was not the appropriate response. The Senator’s office receives more than 100,000 pieces of correspondence each month and on occasion they aren’t directed correctly.”

The aide also said Feinstein's office “reached out” to the IT worker “to express our apologies and see if the Senator can be of assistance.”

As a U.S. senator, Feinstein could have asked the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to review the situation. She could have also asked California's governor to take a look at the IT outsourcing or contact the University of California directly -- a public institution that also receives federal dollars -- to ask why a partially taxpayer-supported university is moving jobs to India.

Feinstein also has another close connection to UCSF. Her husband, Richard Blum, is on the Board of Regents overseeing the University of California system.


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