Your Job the Old Fashion Way; To Foreign Replacement Workers
by Douglas Chick
Thousands of Americans in the information
technology industry have reportedly been replaced by cheap foreign
labor since the cap was raised on an immigration program. As far
back as 1999, Iíve heard from fellow computer people complaining
that they are losing their jobs to lower salaried foreign workers,
and Iím guilty for not listening to what they were trying to tell
me. Those of you that have already lost their jobs already know
this; those that still have a job should ďlisten upĒ because you
might be next.
It seems that the jobless rate in the U.S.
wasnít high enough so Congress changed the H1-B visas that limited
work visas to 4 times the existing limits. H1-B visas allow U.S.
companies, including federal contractors, to hire skilled foreign
workers on a temporary basis to supply workers where they cannot
find qualified Americans. But as with many abuses in the system the
technology workers, who are mostly from India, are not filling empty
jobs but actually replacing qualified Americans. Instead of a
moratorium to protect our jobs, the government is giving
corporations the green light to lay off more of us. The past four
years have been a historical worst for computer people, as it has
been for other professions. This is yet one more example of the U.S.
government allowing foreign attacks against its people, but this
time the assaults are job bombings. I know that these are harsh
words in a time when America is facing more possible attacks from
terrorists but losing a job in todayís market is just as life
Siemens is one example of the ever-growing threat
against America jobs. Former employees of Central Florida Siemens,
Mike Emmons and James Granberry told Problem Solver Steven Cooper of
Local 6 News a local Florida news agency that they were forced to
train their foreign replacements before being laid off. They say
that they were told, ďif you don't stay and train them you won't
get your severance.Ē Siemens is a German owned company allowed to
operate in the U.S. But this is not the first time that I have heard
these types of hiring practices from a large technology company.
Iíve been told by computer people from Router manufactures,
telecom and software makers whose companies are also practicing
ďFire and Rehire Aliens for LessĒ. "Outsourcing
IT work overseas doesn't bother Bush administration"
Outsourcing, as it is called, is
estimated to grow 65 percent in 2003 to 25 percent of the IT work
force. These are some pretty scary numbers in an already uncertain
job market. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Electronic Data Systems all trumpet their
ability to serve customers from facilities in low-wage countries
such as India, Mexico and Brazil. That strategy is partly in
response to the success of Indian-based players such as Infosys
Technologies and Wipro Technologies. Indian companies began to take
on low-profile tasks like legacy software maintenance in the early
1990s. But they've since graduated to offer more mission-critical
services. Some Indian IT companies also offer business process
outsourcing services. Outsourcing provides many benefits to a company, the largest is not
having to pay employee benefits. I have great respect for computer
people around the world, especially from India and in no way Iím I
suggesting that they donít have a right to a good life in the U.S.
or anywhere else in the world. My argument is that if we outsource
all of the technical jobs to people in other countries than what
will the future hold for the rest of us?
What can we do to save computer jobs?
If those of us that still have a job continue to
purchase product from technology companies that replace their I.T
departments with foreign workers than we too will soon be out of a
job. It is in my opinion that with no help in sight from the
government to protect us, it is necessary that those of us that
still have a job to take action. The only effective power that we
have is the power of the purchase order. Stop purchasing product
from companies that practice Offshore Outsourcing and who are
importing foreign replacement workers. I realize this sounds a bit
on the racial side, but what other tools do what have at our means?
And how do we find out what companies are doing this; we ask. Before
you make your next purchase ask your vendor if their company hires
offshore labor. Send me the results of your query, along with the
company and your salespersonís name. If they say they donít, we
post them as job friendly companies. If they say they do, they go on
the other list. If you work for a company that participates in these
types of hiring practices, give me their name and Iíll kept your
identity confidential. If you are not willing to participate in
taking a stand now, you may not have a job later and it may be too
late to make a difference.
With the 2004 elections right around the corner
many politicians are scrambling to explain their part in this failed
economy. Those that realize war wonít save their job might be
willing to actually do something positive to help save yours. Here
is the link to every member of The U.S. House of Representatives http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.htm.
Simply send them an e-mail or this article and ask them what they
are going to do to help save jobs in this country.
You may send your comments to: SaveOurJobs@Thenetworkadministrator.com
Where will your job be in 2003?
More articles on Overseas Outsourcing.
Outsourcing: Choosing a Location and a Partner in a Far Away Place
Say Technology Industry Will Lead Way in Overseas Outsourcing
Outsourcing A Possibility For Federal IT Projects
High Price Of Overseas Outsourcing