A Website Dedicated to Computer Professionals...and some not so Professional

Losing 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Thousands of Americans in the information technology industry have reportedly been replaced by cheap foreign labor since the cap was raised on an immigration program.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 altering.

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"

Offshore 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. 

2004 Elections

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.

Overseas Outsourcing: Choosing a Location and a Partner in a Far Away Place

Analysts Say Technology Industry Will Lead Way in Overseas Outsourcing

Overseas Outsourcing A Possibility For Federal IT Projects

The High Price Of Overseas Outsourcing



E-mail your comments to dougchick@thenetworkadministrator.com
All rights reserved  TheNetworkAdministrator.com

Disclaimer: The Opinions shared on TheNetworkAdministrator.com are contributed by its readers and does not necessarily express the opinion of the creators of this publication.