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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A thousand unemployed call centre workers cheer...

It's happening in India too. Three cities in a row, I've found that waiting and kitchen staff in hotels in India were predominantly Chinese.

Fair enough, a lot of people like Chinese food, even in India. But I cannot fathom how it could be cost-effective for employers to take on migrant workers ahead of one of the lowest- paid workforces there is.

Perhaps the Chinese government is subsidising this as part of some sort of training programme? Does anyone out there know if there is method behind this madness?

Surely when Chinese staff are populating the rosters of hotels in a place like India, we've already exceeded even the flimsy economic purpose for mass migration?

And how can the Indian authorities justify these jobs going to non-Indians, given the poverty and deprivation in the country?

And have they foreseen the negative effects on their tourist industry?

After all, it wasn't that long ago that they were hiring hotel staff for Connemara in Newfoundland because so many complaints were coming in to Bord Failte from American tourists about non-English speaking staff in Irish establishments.

And with no Irish forthcoming for the jobs, they looked for staff in the one other place where people sounded and looked Irish. There is, it appears, a premium of authenticity that tourists attach to visiting places like Ireland or India that involves interacting with locals and not with imported Chinese labour.

So why are Indian hotels hiring from China? Does anyone know?

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