Kirsten Gillibrand United States Senator for New York

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Gillibrand Makes Direct Appeal To National Grid USA: Don’t Outsource New York Jobs

Company Ponders Outsourcing 1,200 Northeast Jobs

January 5, 2010

Washington, DC – With National Grid USA considering outsourcing much of its Northeast operations that would result in significant job losses across New York State, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stepped in and urged National Grid to reconsider plans and keep these jobs in New York.

According to recent news reports, National Grid is considering outsourcing much of its information services work, including software programming, computer networking and other functions.  According to the reports, one request for proposals (RFP) for outside vendors has already been issued, with possibly three more to come in the coming months. The plan could send as many as 1,200 jobs in New York and New England overseas. National Grid USA made nearly $1.5 billion in profits last year, due in large part to the quality American workforce it relies on.

In a letter to Tom King, President of National Grid USA, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “In this economic time it is very disconcerting to hear that any company would consider outsources its jobs to overseas businesses when we have a competent and capable workforce here in the United States.  A workforce that you have been utilizing since 2002.  It is even more upsetting to know that a company who made $1.43 billion in profits last year would look for ways to cut costs by reducing it employees.”

In addition to urging Chief Executive Holliday to keep these jobs in New York State, Senator Gillibrand is also working with businesses in all sectors in all regions of the state to keep their workforces right here in New York, and is working on new legislation that would encourage businesses to start hiring again – putting New Yorkers back to work. This fall, Senator Gillibrand launched her Innovation Agenda to increase America’s competitiveness in the global economy, keep and attract more high-tech businesses to New York, and create more high-tech jobs in New York.

Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to President King is below:

January 4, 2010

 

Tom King
President
National Grid USA
40 Sylvan Drive
Westborough, Massachusetts 02451

Dear Mr. King,

      I am writing to express my concern with recent reports indicating that National Grid may outsource as many as 1,200 of its Northeast jobs, hundreds of which are located throughout New York State, to overseas vendors.  I urge you to reconsider this proposal and work with local unions and the State and Federal government to find a way to keep these American jobs in New York and other Northeastern states.

      I am working on a number of proposals to help New York companies sustain their workforces and create new jobs, and I would be happy to work with you to develop ways to grow our economy together.

      Considering the current economic climate, it is very disconcerting to hear that any company would consider outsourcing its jobs overseas.  National Grid has relied on a competent and capable workforce in New York since 2002 and I know that your Northeastern customers would prefer to rely on their friends and neighbors for service rather than a folks that probably aren't familiar with what it’s like to be without heat or electricity during a New York winter.   It is even more upsetting to know that a company who made $1.43 billion in profits last year would look for ways to increase profits even further at the expense of its employees and quality of service.

      Furthermore, I have significant concerns with outsourcing any utility’s work to foreign companies, leaving customers uncertain that they will receive prompt and reliable assistance with service, repair work, and online operations such as bill paying.  New York residents must be guaranteed that their service will not be disrupted by these possible changes.  As we enter in to these bitterly cold winter months it is especially imperative that residents can rely on their utility providers to ensure adequate service.

      I do hope that the news of these job cuts do not become a reality and  would ask you to please reconsider any decisions you have made thus far to eliminate any of the National Grid jobs in New York state and the Northeast.

      Please feel free to get in touch with my office if you have any concerns or would like to talk further about this matter.

Sincerely, 

Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator