Northeast Utilities confirms IT outsourcing plan

Weeks after telling IT workers it was considering outsourcing tech work, Northeast Utilities says it will cut 200 jobs and turn over some operations to Indian companies.

After weeks of keeping its IT workers in the dark, Northeast Utilities last week acknowledged that it plans to cut half of its tech jobs and turn over part of its IT operations to a pair of India-based outsourcers.

The announcement made official what was already suspected -- the company, which operates New England's largest energy delivery system, had told its IT workers weeks ago that it was considering outsourcing tech work.

NU employs about 400 IT workers and will retain "about half" of them after turning some operations over to Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, two of India's largest IT service providers. About 40 of the affected employees will be rehired by the outsourcers "and will still work at NU facilities," the company said.

NU said the transition will last from November till June. It is offering employees a voluntary separation package.

An NU IT employee, who asked not to be identified, told Computerworld that the earlier heads up had left many people worried about their futures.

David Lewis, CEO at OperationsInc, a human resources consulting firm, called NU's decision to alert employees to the possible outsourcing of their jobs "kind of mind-bogglingly stupid." But he and others didn't discount the idea that the internal announcement was calculated.

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