Xerox To Transfer Wilsonville Employees to Indian Contractor, HCL Technologies24 Jun, 2011
Xerox To Transfer Wilsonville Employees to Indian Contractor, HCL Technologies
USA - June 2011 - Xerox is notifying its Wilsonville employees today that it has signed a deal to transfer 120 of them to an Indian company, HCL Technologies, but says that those workers will stay put in their current jobs and current desks as Xerox contractors."HCL will now handle certain aspects of Xerox's mechanical, electrical and software engineering activities for printing and imaging product lines, specifically platform development, infrastructure and quality assurance," Xerox spokesman Bill McKee confirmed in an e-mail today.Wilsonville is home to Xerox's color printing group, acquired from Tektronix in 2000. Xerox has about 1,500 employees there, and 134,000 workers around the globe. It acknowledged in May that it might send some employees to HCL as part of a partnership designed to add new capabilities to the company."This partnership enhances the innovation and effectiveness of Xerox's engineering operations through HCL's investments and scale in engineering based infrastructures and product development," McKee wrote today.
Xerox planned similar transfers at its sites in El Segundo, Calif.; Welwyn Garden City in England; Venray in the Netherlands; and Webster, N.Y.Earlier this month Xerox offered buyouts to 600 employees companywide, including 120 in Wilsonville. As an alternative to a transfer to HCL, Xerox offered employees a week of severance pay for each year they had been with the company.Today, McKee said 120 Wilsonville employees will transfer to HCL "with comparable pay and benefits.""They will remain in their current Wilsonville location working on Xerox projects," he wrote, "and some could work on projects for other HCL customers in such areas as aerospace, IT and healthcare."
HCL has 81,000 employees around the world. Its existing partners include Boeing, Microsoft and Cisco.
"As HCL builds its business," McKee wrote, "engineers have the potential for more career growth by serving not only Xerox but also other clients. This minimizes the risk for any future layoffs."A lot depends on how Xerox structured its contract with HCL, according to Cliff Allen, director of Portland Statue University's Master of International Management program. It's possible to build in pay and job protections, according to Allen."Hopefully," he said, "Xerox has done a good enough job with those people."
As a vice president with Spokane-based Itronix, Allen said, he used to hire HCL for contracting services and had good results. Xerox could, too, he said."I don't think there is some evil agenda," Allen said. "This is a business transaction."Every arrangement is different, but he said arrangements like the Xerox-HCL tie-up aren't unusual and that skilled workers often do find good opportunities working as a contractor.Still, HCL brings its own strategy and financial objectives. That inevitably affects workers who become contractors for their former employer."No matter how much you say nothing will change," he said, "it does change."