Massive destruction of jobs in major sectors

Recent months have witnessed thousands of workers being thrown out of their jobs in a wide range of sectors, as a result of intense monopolistic competition leading to mergers among the biggest capitalist corporations.

The telecom sector is witnessing an unprecedented wave of mergers and acquisitions, which is expected to lead to massive destruction of jobs.

Idea Cellular and Vodafone are considering a merger to combat Reliance Jio, which has disrupted the market by offering all kinds of free services. Aircel and Reliance Communications (RCom) are reported to be engaged in merger negotiations. Russia's MTS has been merged into RCom. Norway's Telenor is considering merger with the RCom-Aircel combine or acquisition by Airtel.

Aircel announced on 15th February that it would soon be laying off 700 of its 8000 strong workforce in India. Other major telecom monopolies are expected to make similar announcements soon. According to a senior executive in the telecom industry, almost 100,000 workers, out of the total 300,000 employed by telecom companies in India, could lose their jobs in the process of concentration of capital in this sector.

Concentration of capital is taking place in ancillary operations as well, especially in telecom towers. In 2016, American Towers (ATC) bought Viom Networks and reduced the combined workforce by about a third. This was followed by the $1.6 billion takeover of RCom's towers by Brookfield. Larger companies such as Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers are also expected to see large scale retrenchments due to mergers.

The IT industry, considered one of the major job creators in recent times, is witnessing massive job destruction due to rapid technological change and intense inter-capitalist rivalry. Companies are laying off programmers at the lower level in order to prevent a fall in their rate of profit. Infosys, the second largest player in the Indian IT industry, has thrown out close to 9000 of its workforce over the past one year. About 2000 employees have been retrenched in every quarter of 2016.

Print news media is another sector where jobs are being destroyed. In early February, the ABP Media Group, which owns The Telegraph and Ananda Bazaar Patrika, laid off over 700 employees in one single swoop.

 All these facts show that capitalism, at its present highly monopolistic and parasitic stage, is more of a destroyer of jobs than a creator of jobs.

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Mar 1-15 2017    Struggle for Rights    Economy     2017   

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