Where is your job going today?


Shame on Tom Brokaw and NBC Nightly News

The legendary journalist, Tom Brokaw, now a Special Correspondent for NBC News, apparently abandoned his commitment to true journalism to tote the corporate line when it comes to immigration and the H-1B Visa. In Tom Brokaw’s report,  Brokaw uses an anecdotal example of SnapDeal, a company started in India by an Indian entrepreneur who happened to have spent some time in the U.S. on an H-1B Visa. Brokaw’s premise is that the U.S. somehow "lost out" by not keeping this entrepreneur here so that he could start his company in the U.S. The problem with this premise is that it is an insult to all American tech workers and entrepreneurs. It basically says that we can’t start our own businesses here in this country and we have to have someone from a different country to do it for us, which is just nonsense.

Of course, no corporate shilling news report is complete without a quote from the shilling clown himself, Vivek Wadhwa.  This "news story" does not disappoint. Anyone familiar with Wadhwa knows that he cannot intelligently participate in a debate with anyone who disagrees with him.  He typically breaks down into yelling over his opponent and accusing them and anyone else who disagrees with him as being xenophobes.

Even if this Indian company was started here in the U.S., what are the chances that it would hire any of the unemployed American tech workers? It would likely hire other foreign tech workers on Visas, or outsource much of the work to India with little benefit to the U.S. or the American worker.

The real reason the Koch Brothers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Indian outsourcing/offshoring companies, and many other corporate entities want to eliminate caps on these Visas cannot be stated any better than the last paragraph of an article in the Deccan Chronicle.  The article is titled "Rising US visa rejections take toll on Indian IT cos" and it explains that an increase in the L-1/H-1B Visa rejection rate from four percent to eight percent is putting a crimp on profits for Indian outsourcing/offshoring companies.  The last paragraph reads:

"Stricter visa norms could also force Indian IT firms to start local hiring at a faster pace than what they are doing at present. This could also end up pushing costs because the average age of IT workers in the US tends to be higher — which also means higher salaries."

In other words, it’s all about cheap wages and age discrimination.  Heaven forbid we hire any IT worker over 40 and pay them enough so that they can keep making their mortgage payments and feed their family.

A shared letter to Senator Patty Murray, and Senator Maria Cantwell

This letter was shared with WashTech by the writer, and is posted here by their permission. The person did sign the letter when it was sent to the senators, but has asked to remain anonymous here. If you share these opinions, please express them to your own senators and congressman. – WashTech

Conversation: OUTSOURCING

Dear Senator,

I am incensed that large American Corporations are shipping our jobs overseas — eg India. When we have a 10% unemployment rate these companies should not be getting tax breaks. They should be getting tax penalties. H1B1 visas should be frozen or reduced.

If you want a non humorous look at the situation watch the show ‘Outsourced’ on NBC. Go to NBC.com, search on “Outsourced” and watch the pilot. I love the Indian people, but they are being used and the American people are being abused.

If outsourcing is an honorable thing to do, why is it that these outsourced call centers pretend to be in the United States, using US names, and lying as to where they are actually operating from? If it were an honest, honorable thing to do would this be going on, the lying and deception? Why are the Indian people being ‘forced’ to adopt our names and hide their culture?

Microsoft advertised during this show as they are one of the worst offenders — not a surprise.

PROSA: Stop the abuse of Indian IT workers

A wage far below the Danish minimum wage, a life of board and lodging and being tied to the workplace with the threat of repatriation should silence any criticism. That is the reality of Indian IT professionals in Denmark’s second largest IT company CSC, as with the Immigration Agency’s endorsement they are working in unbearable conditions in Denmark. That was documented on a spots in the radio program “P1 Orientation” on Monday evening. Continue reading

Coalition of Fair Trade Organizations hold Telephone Press Briefing

As a part of the Trade Stories Project, a coalition of fair trade organizations, including the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, held a press briefing via telephone conference call.  On this call were several speakers, including Rennie Sawade, Communication Chair of WashTech.  The purpose of the conference was to express the need for Fair Trade that protects American workers, as President Obama prepares for the G20 conference.

Internal Microsoft Document on HB 1487 Leaked

This highly controversial legislation, HB 1487, which goes into effect July 1st in Washington State, is just another example of a transnational corporation asserting its influence in our local government.  This legislation was drawn up inside of Microsoft and sponsored by Representative Ross Hunter, a former manager at Microsoft.

According to this Seattle Times article, this legislation will cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in the short term and will continue to cost more in the years to come.  While making deep cuts in education, this legislation passed by a wide margin. This clearly shows how Microsoft makes backroom deals with legislators with flawed judgement – and a capacity to ignore the majority they have pledged to serve.

“Rep. Ross Hunter pushed through legislation at Microsoft’s behest to extend in-state tuition rates to white collar professionals who are temporarily stationed at Microsoft on corporate visas –at the same time that Washington State lawmakers removed $1.5 billion from education, laidoff 2500 teachers, [and] slashed health care.” – Bright Future Jobs

Bright Future Jobs broke the story of the grassroots campaign – started by techs in Washington state – against Ross Hunter, now running for King County Executive. The campaign is asking everyone to donate $14.87, in protest of HB 1487, to any opponent of Ross Hunter of their choice.  You can see the candidates and their websites here.  The Primary Election is on August 18.

Internal Microsoft Document

Microsoft Continues to Pursue In-State Tuition Bill (03/18/2008)
The Washington State Senate and House of Representatives Higher Education Committees recently voted on a bill aimed at broadening the definition of “resident student” in the state of Washington. This bill would have allowed non-immigrants in L-1, L-2, H-1B, H-4, or E-3 status to pay in-state tuition. While the bill will not become law this session. We believe it has a strong chance of future success.

Origins of The Idea: You?
Microsoft focused efforts to change this state law after receiving suggestions from our employees in our webcast on January 10th. Jack Krumholtz and Lydia Tamez promised to pursue this idea, and provide updates on the progress. Our webcasts on immigration issues provide an excellent opportunity not only for us to keep you informed about important policy developments but also for us to understand what issues are central to you and for us to gain the benefit of your ideas This is one example of how your ideas influence the direction of Microsoft’s efforts to change state laws on immigration.

Team Efforts at Microsoft to Pursue The Blll’s Passage
Through the strong support of Microsoft’s State Government Relations Team, this bill was drafted and introduced in the state legislature in January 2008. On February 6 2008, Lydia Tamez, the Associate General Counsel for Microsoft Global Migration, testified before the Washington State Senate Committee on Higher Education. The bill easily passed the State Senate by a vote of 46-1 and then moved to the House of Representatives. On February 21, 2008, Lydia testified again, this time before Washington State House of Representatives Higher Education Committee, This committee passed the bill sending it on to the House Appropriations Committee .

Current Status of the Bill and Future Projections
Unfortunately, the bill stalled when the Speaker of the House, Frank Chopp, determined not to move any bills relating to immigration for the time being. This decision has ended our chances for success this session. However, the Washington State House and Senate committees that have heard Lydia’s testimony now understand this important issue more fully. The efforts of Microsoft this year will likely to ensure that this topic will have a high-profile for next year. Already, University of Washington Regent Bill Gates Sr. has expressed his support for the bill, and the Speaker of the House has indicated that he may permit the bill move to a vote in the next session.

Microsoft is committed to pursuing this initiative vigorously. As always, we are grateful for the ideas you contribute, and we will keep you informed as we make progress toward making this in-state tuition idea a reality. A special word of thanks to Delee Shoemaker, Director of State Government Affairs, and Fred Humphries, Managing Director of State Government Affairs for all their efforts in the past two months in moving this bill forward!

Microsoft Tuition Reimbursement for Master’s Degree Prevents I-140 Upgrades (July 2007)
Periodically, in addition to the latest immigration news happenings, MIG highlights issues in our hot news items that are critical to many employees. For individuals considering an upgrade of their EB3 process to EB2 via a master’s degree, please take note of the following:

To qualify for PERM Labor Certification, an employee cannot have received any monetary assistance from the sponsoring employer towards the job’s educational requirements. This means that even if less than 100% of the education or training required for the sponsored job is paid by Microsoft. This would likely result in a denial of the PERM application. Question J23 of ETA-9089 asks: Did the employer pay for any of the alien’s education or training necessary to satisfy any of the employer’s job requirements for the position”? If the answer to this question is “yes,’ an audit likely will be triggered, and we expect a denial.

Prior to using Microsoft’s tuition benefit, employees should contact their immigration attorney to assess whether this Microsoft benefit will potentially negatively impact their green card options — your attorney will advise you of your options.

Immigration Q&A
My spouse is also in F-1 status, and we are filing her My spouse is also in F-1 status, and we are filing her I-485 application in July. Once she has her EAD approved, will her college give her in state tuition?

Answer: Immigration law does not control the tuition that colleges charge foreign national students. Your spouse should ask his or her Designated School Official about the schools tuition policy for individuals who have pending I-485 applications.

Mad In America

Check out http://www.madnamerica.com/ and get “Mad in America”.

Mad in America is a middle class protest about job off-shoring, outsourcing, and plant relocations.

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