workers require higher pay…Temporary workers….don’t require
long-term health care for dependents….aren’t around long enough to
get significant raises….
The temps are also more docile, so it is easy on the managers.
The largest growth centers of many American companies (Apple is an exception) is in India. While the pain for US job-seekers is real, hiring Indians is reducing world-wide inequality. It can also be argued that by integrating India into the world economy the US is helping stabilize almost 20% of the world population at very little cost.
Still it is a very brave man who can/will attempt to counter the I was hired to train an Indian and then fired anecdotes. It is clear that the companies want to hire cheap, young temps (foreigners) instead of expensive, aged natives who will stay put.
The future is even more terrifying…when all the jobs will be performed by robots. It seems that capitalism will require to re-invent itself in order to keep revolutions at bay.
Parker was thrilled when she landed her dream job in 2012 providing tech
support for Harley-Davidson’s Tomahawk, Wisconsin, plants. The divorced
mother of three hoped it was the beginning of a new career with the
The dream didn’t last long. Parker claims
she was laid off one year later after she trained her replacement, a
newly arrived worker from India. Now she has joined a federal lawsuit
alleging the global staffing firm that ran Harley-Davidson’s tech
support discriminated against American workers — in part by replacing
them with temporary workers from South Asia.
India-based Infosys, denies wrongdoing and contends, as many companies
do, that it has faced a shortage of talent and specialized skill sets in
the US. Like other firms, Infosys wants Congress to allow even more of
these temporary workers.
But amid calls for expanding the
nation’s so-called H-1B visa programme, there is growing push-back from
Americans who argue the programme has been hijacked by staffing
companies that import cheaper, lower-level workers to replace more
expensive US employees — or keep them from getting hired in the first
getting pretty frustrating when you can’t compete on salary for a
skilled job,” said Rich Hajinlian, a veteran computer programmer from
the Boston area. “You hear references all the time that these big
companies … can’t find skilled workers. I am a skilled worker.”Hajinlian, 56, who develops his own web applications on the side, said
he applied for a job in April through a headhunter and that the
potential client appeared interested, scheduling a longer interview.
Then, said Hajinlian, the headhunter called back and said the client had
gone with an H-1B worker whose annual salary was about $10,000 less.
“I didn’t even get a chance to negotiate down,” he said.
The H-1B programme allows employers to temporarily hire workers in
specialty occupations. The government issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas to
businesses every year, and recipients can stay up to six years. Although
no one tracks exactly how many H-1B holders are in the US, experts
estimate there are at least 600,000 at any one time. Skilled guest
workers can also come in on other types of visas.
immigration bill passed in the US Senate last year would have increased
the number of annually available H-1B visas to 180,000 while raising
fees and increasing oversight, although language was removed that would
have required all companies to consider qualified US workers before
foreign workers are hired.
The House of Representatives never
acted on the measure. With immigration reform considered dead this year
in Congress, President Barack Obama last week declared he will use
executive actions to address some changes. It is not known whether the
H-1B programme will be on the agenda.
Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg is among the high-profile executives pushing for more H-1Bs.
The argument has long been that there aren’t enough qualified American
workers to fill certain jobs, especially in science, engineering and
technology. Advocates also assert that some visa holders will stay and
Critics say there is no across-the-board
shortage of American tech workers, and that if there were, wages would
be rising rapidly. Instead, wage gains for software developers have been
modest, while wages have fallen for programmers.
Economic Policy Institute reported last year that only half of US
college graduates in science, engineering and technology found jobs in
those fields and that at least one third of IT jobs were going to
foreign guest workers.
The top users of H-1B visas aren’t even
tech companies like Google and Facebook. Eight of the 10 biggest H-1B
users last year were outsourcing firms that hire out thousands of mostly
lower- and mid-level tech workers to corporate clients, according to an
analysis of federal data by Ron Hira, an associate professor of public
policy at Rochester Institute of Technology. The top 10 firms accounted
for about a third of the H-1Bs allotted last year.
over whether foreign workers are taking jobs isn’t new, but for years it
centered on low-wage sectors like agriculture and construction. The
high-skilled visas have thrust a new sector of American workers into the
fray: the middle class.
Last month, three tech advocacy groups
launched a labor boycott against Infosys, IBM and the global staffing
and consulting company Manpower Group, citing a “pattern of excluding US
workers from job openings on US soil.”
They say Manpower, for example, last year posted US job openings in India but not in the United States.
have a shortage in the industry all right — a shortage of fair and
ethical recruiting and hiring,” said Donna Conroy, director of Bright
Future Jobs, a group of tech professionals fighting to end what it calls
“discriminatory hiring that is blocking us … from competing for jobs
we are qualified to do.”
“US workers should have the freedom to compete first for job openings,” Conroy said.
Infosys spokesman Paul de Lara responded that the firm encourages
“diversity recruitment,” while spokesman Doug Shelton said IBM considers
all qualified candidates “without regard to citizenship and immigration
status.” Manpower issued a statement saying it “adopts the highest
ethical standards and complies with all applicable laws and regulations
when hiring individuals.”
Much of the backlash against the H-1B
and other visa programmes can be traced to whistleblower Jay Palmer, a
former Infosys employee. In 2011, Palmer supplied federal investigators
with information that helped lead to Infosys paying a record $34 million
settlement last year. Prosecutors had accused the company of
circumventing the law by bringing in lower-paid workers on short-term
executive business visas instead of using H-1B visas.
year, IBM paid $44,000 to the US Justice Department to settle
allegations its job postings expressed a preference for foreign workers.
And a September trial is set against executives at the staffing company
Dibon Solutions, accused of illegally bringing in foreign workers on
H-1B visas without having jobs for them — a practice known as
In court papers, Parker claims that she was given
positive reviews by supervisors, including at Infosys, which she
maintains oversaw her work and the decision to let her go. The only
complaint: Her desk was messy and she’d once been late.
Neither Parker nor other workers involved in similar lawsuits and contacted by The Associated Press would discuss their cases.
Parker’s attorney, Dan Kotchen, noted that the case centers on
discrimination based on national origin but said that “hiring visa
workers is part of how they obtain their discriminatory objectives.”
Infosys is seeking a dismissal, in part on grounds that it never hired
or fired Parker. Parker was hired by a different subcontractor and kept
on, initially, after Infosys began working with Harley-Davidson.
A company spokeswoman said Infosys has about 17,000 employees in the
US, about 25% US hires. In filings to the US Securities and Exchange
Commission, the company said it has more than 22,000 employees with
valid temporary work visas, some not in the US.
University Law School fellow Vivek Wadwha, a startup adviser, said firms
are so starved for talent they are buying up other companies to obtain
skilled employees. If there’s a bias against Americans, he said, it’s an
age bias based on the fact that older workers may not have the latest
skills. More than 70% of H-1B petitions approved in 2012 were for
workers between the ages of 25 and 34.
“If workers don’t constantly retrain themselves, their skills become obsolete,” he said.
Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of
California, Davis, agreed that age plays into it — not because older
workers are less skilled but because they typically require higher pay.
Temporary workers also tend to be cheaper because they don’t require
long-term health care for dependents and aren’t around long enough to
get significant raises, he said.
Because they can be deported
if they lose their jobs, these employees are often loath to complain
about working conditions. And even half the standard systems analyst
salary in the US is above what an H-1B holder would earn back home.
Such circumstances concern Americans searching for work in a still recovering economy.
Jennifer Wedel of Fort Worth, Texas, publicly challenged Obama on the
visa issue in 2012, making headlines when she asked him via a public
online chat about the number of foreign workers being hired — given that
her husband, a semiconductor engineer, couldn’t find work.
Wedel said her husband eventually found a job in the health care industry, taking a $40,000 pay cut.
“It’s a slap in the face to every American who worked hard to get their
experience and degrees and has 10 or 15 years of experience,” she said,
adding that firms want that experience but don’t want to pay for it.
To her, the issue isn’t about a shortage of workers who have the right skills. Put simply, she said: “It’s the money.”