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Facing layoff at Carnival, IT employee makes bold counteroffer

Patrick Thibodeau | Jan. 3, 2017
Carnival IT employees face uncertain future as Capgemini takes over

Culver also asked for "a one-time, $100,000 donation to a charity of your choice, as long as they participate in providing services to the unemployed American workers."

The counteroffer also included a provision asking for "a personal, signed apology letter from both the CEO of Capgemini, as well as the CEO of Carnival Corporation, to each of the families who have been affected by this decision."

There was also a request in his letter that no other employees be affected by offshoring. Culver concluded: "I appreciate your time and attention to this matter, and I sincerely hope that you can fulfill these terms, so that I may begin my consideration of a happy and productive future with Capgemini!"

Capgemini declined the counteroffer, Culver said.

Carnival's decision to move IT work to a contractor "is not a cost-savings initiative," Frizzell, the cruise line's spokesman, stated.

"Our core business is cruising, and by taking this action and working with a world-class IT firm like Capgemini, will provide us with the ability to significantly strengthen our IT operation for our company and our guests," he said. He added that there is more opportunity for Carnival's IT employees at Capgemini than at the cruise line.

Capgemini employs 16,600 workers in North America, or about 9 percent of its total workforce of 180,600, according to its 2015 annual report. The company, however, gets 31 percent of its revenues from North America.

Capgemini expanded in 2015 as a result of its acquisition of iGate, a U.S.-based IT services firm with 33,000 employees, most of whom are overseas.

Severance will be provided to those who accept a job with Capgemini "but are later released" from employment, Frizzell said. The actual transfer to Capgemini is scheduled to take place in early February.

"It is important to us that we always treat our employees with dignity and respect, and our goal here is to provide a transition and smooth landing for them with this process," he said.

Employees who spoke to Computerworld said they believe that if they leave without accepting the Capgemini offer and seek unemployment benefits, Carnival will contest their benefits because they made a voluntary resignation. "There is a gun to our head to sign the contract," said one employee, who asked not be named.

Carnival was asked whether the employees' concern was accurate but there was no immediate answer.

Blackwell doesn't see how it is possible to contest unemployment benefits for these employees. An employer can't tell someone whom "you have to work for, or else you don't get the benefit of unemployment. That's not their decision," she said. Blackwell also runs an advocacy group on the H-1B issue, Protect U.S. Workers


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