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Blog Posted in avatar   Maria Elisa Anacay's Blog

Apologetic RBC CEO clears the air — Is outsourcing good for companies?

By Maria Elisa Anacay
Posted Apr 22, 2013 in Business
While the controversies that surround the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) are continuing to escalate, RBC Chief Executive Officer Gord Nixon apologized to the public and offered to find comparable job opportunities for the concerned employees on Thursday last week, according to Thomson Reuters.
The crisis garnered much attention when it came to light that 45 Canadian workers in RBC's Investor Services team are being displaced since their positions will be brokered abroad, thanks to a deal with business process outsourcing (BPO) leader iGate Corp. The move was seen as legal under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which allows the move as long as the foreigners would be working in Canada on a temporary basis.
Yet what made the news is the fact that the TFWP only calls for foreigners if it is determined that there is no qualified Canadian to take the position and that giving the job to a foreigner would not take away any positions from Canadian workers. As it turns out, RBC requested its employees to “train” their replacements.
Amidst nationwide calls for boycotting and abandoning the bank, Nixon stepped up the plate and apologized to the Canadian public.
With yet another hot topic about outsourcing, people are wondering just how exactly outsourcing helps a country. As CBC reports, some entrepreneurs believe that if they did not outsource at the onset of a project, they might be unable to provide secure employment opportunities for Canadians.
Such is the case of Majestic Media's chief, Mario Zelaya, who benefited from outsourcing during the risky initial stages of his startup. He outsourced technology-based work in Argentina, Costa Rica, Poland, and Venezuela while keeping project managers and marketing personnel in Toronto, Canada.
Zelaya claims that by outsourcing his technology-based work, he was able to build his business to the point that he could hire Canadians. “I never would have been able to scale the company to where it is right now if I hadn’t made those decisions early on.”
Yet with companies such as RBC taking advantage of the TFWP and other outsourcing opportunities, are there still any positions left to the public? Only time can tell if outsourcing would indeed provide more opportunities and not take away jobs from Canadians.

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