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.

Education hurts you in today’s job market

For each job opening in America, there are 5 applicants.  In this video, Mike Papantonio and investigative journalist Andy Kroll discuss how education makes it much harder to find a job, especially if you are over 45.  They also discuss how the U.S. Chamber of Congress, the front organization for Corporate America which bought congressional offices for Republicans in the midterm election, is succeeding in their goal of eliminating the middle class and promoting a low-wage-only workforce.

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

Next in externalizing costs: Pay rent for your desk at work?

Remember several months back when Microsoft forced its contingent staff (also known as contractors or permatemps) to take a 10% pay cut? This same pay cut ended up being quite a bit more than 10% for many, especially for those who were forced to leave a contract and come back under a new contract.

Office Desk For RentWell, apparently Microsoft isn’t done in it’s quest to increase its bottom line.  The last pay cut drew a lot of negative publicity, since Microsoft was seen as taking advantage of the weak economy and in turn, hurting the local economy even more.  So, Microsoft is looking to use a more indirect approach by externalizing more of its costs.

Rumor has it that Microsoft is going to require its contractors who are categorized as “Vendors” (also known as “vee dash” since their email addresses start with a “v-“) to pay rent for the desks that they are using within the Microsoft facilities.  Microsoft’s rationale behind it is that these contractors can work on Microsoft’s projects anywhere, so providing a desk and a chair within the Microsoft facilities is considered a “service to the contractor”.  Microsoft is allegedly going to start charging the vendor class of contractors $400 per month starting in January of 2010.

So, you may be asking, “What is the difference between a vendor class contractor and the other contractors at Microsoft?”  Well, as far as job function goes, there really isn’t any difference.  They work on the same projects and in the same groups at Microsoft.  The differences are administrative.  One difference that many are familiar with is that vendor class contractors are not required to take a 100 day break from Microsoft after a year of service.  Vendor class contractors are also required to provide their own computer.  And apparently, starting in January, these contractors will be required to pay rent to Microsoft in order to have a desk to work at within the Microsoft facilities.  Not surprisingly, vendor class contracting appears to be becoming Microsoft’s preferred way of doing business when it comes to onsite staff.

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.

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.

Wal-Mart to Destroy Yet More American IT Jobs

As if there aren’t already enough reasons to hate Wal-Mart, such as their shady business practices, their anti-union stance, their contribution to the trade deficit, and their recent lame TV commercials, Wal-Mart is considering outsourcing their IT department.  With the current financial crisis causing Americans to lose their jobs and spend less at retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart somehow feels that the solution to this problem is to destroy more American jobs through outsourcing to India.  This is logic that only a multi-millionaire CEO could love.

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