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Firm tries to soothe workers over Indian merger

Australian company Expert Information Services is reassuring workers that its merger with Indian software giant Infosys will not see jobs lost offshore.

Australian company Expert Information Services is reassuring workers that its merger with Indian software giant Infosys will not see jobs lost offshore.

The chief executive of Expert Information Services has sought to allay concerns over the impact on its Australian workforce of its merger with Indian-based software heavyweight Infosys.

The move comes amid rising concern and controversy in both Australia and the U.S. over the impact of jobs being slashed in higher-cost countries and replicated at much lower cost in countries like India and China. However, Expert's chief executive, Gary Ebeyan, yesterday declared the deal will be a positive, providing "job security and growth opportunities for Australia's ICT industry," a company statement said.

The merger will see Expert become a wholly owned subsidiary of Infosys, and will be completed in January 2004. The combined Australian workforce after the merger will consist of around 450 staff. Ebeyan -- who is moving to head up the Infosys Australia operation -- moved to reassure them they will not be replaced with imported labour.

He said Expert's existing management team and staff will all remain in place.

"We will continue to employ and train local people needed for the specialist nature of our work. Staff from both sides of the acquisition will benefit from access to international resources and new opportunities," Ebeyan said. "Furthermore, we intend to continue partnering with local ICT companies and contributing to the growth of Australia's ICT industry through collective collaboration with other vendors. We will be announcing a series of initiatives early in the new year that will directly benefit the local industry."

ZDNet Australia's staff reported from Sydney.