Indian software providers HCL Technologies and Cyient have dismissed allegations by former Boeing employees that the airplane manufacturer used low-paid, temporary workers and recent college graduates in the outsourcing of software development and testing.
The allegations, detailed in a Bloomberg report, claim that Boeing, which is under investigation over two fatal crashes of its new 737 Max aircraft, was paying Indian software engineers US$9 per hour.
In a statement, HCL Tech said it was “not associated with any ongoing issues” with the 737 Max”, while Cyient said it was never involved in developing software for Boeing’s flight test equipment. The company has admitted that Boeing is one of its customers however.
Sangeeta Gupta, vice president of Nasscom, India’s business process outsourcing lobby group, described the report as “vicious”.
“Indian tech is the favorite whipping boy for any issue that goes wrong, otherwise it is projected as still being in a labor arbitration model with no value add,” she tweeted.
Boeing has also refuted the allegation, saying it did not rely on engineers from the two companies for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation (MCA) system, a fault on which allegedly caused the Lion Air crash in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March of this year.
Boeing, as well as Airbus, operates an engineering center in the Indian city of Bangalore.
While many in the US believe that companies there outsource jobs to cut costs, the IT services industry says outsourcing is inevitable as the US is running short of skilled talent.