IT workers replaced by H-1Bs? Congress caved
Two days ago, I wrote how workers at Southern California Edison’s Information Technology Department (which had 1,800 employees and 1,500 contract workers) were laid off to be replaced by IT workers from India brought in on H1-B visas. The to-be-laid-off American workers, as part of their severance deal, have to train the Indian workers so that they can do the jobs that American workers have been doing.
This isn’t an exception. It’s the rule in American tech. Bringing down the cost of labor is the Holy Grail.
SCE hired two Indian companies, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, among the largest users of H-1B visas, to provide the workers. But H1-B visas aren’t supposed to allow this sort of thing. They’re not supposed to cost American workers their jobs. The article depicted the abuses of the H1-B system and sparked a flood of often excellent and sometimes extensive comments. The issue struck a chord. Here is the article and comments… In Search of Cheap Labor in Tech: Behind the H1-B Visa Scenes
Alas, what we thought were “abuses of the H1-B system” is actually baked into the system purposefully so that these companies aren’t abusing the system – they’re just using it after their lobbyists performed miracles in, as we say, the best Congress money can buy.
Below, John Miano sheds light on how that worked. It’s chilling (but with a very familiar ring).
By John Miano:
Since you covered the H-1B replacement issue, I thought I would explain the why and how of what is going on. And it has been going on for a long time; here’s a Washington Post article from 20 years ago. The same thing is happening now.
Look at the forces at work here. Employers, like SCE, want cheap foreign labor. Companies like Infosys that get thousands of H-1B visas each year to replace American workers hire big law firms. Legal protections for American workers at SCE stand being lost to politically-connected lawyers and their fees.
If you go to Congress.gov and look up the first bill to expand the H-1B program, HR 3736, 105th Congress, you find that when it left the House Judiciary Committee it contained this text:
(a) In General.–Section 212(n)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)) is amended by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following:
(E)(i) Except as provided in clause (iv) [ACADEMIC EMPLOYER}, the employer has not laid off or otherwise displaced and will not lay off or otherwise displace, within the period beginning 6 months before and ending 90 days following the date of filing of the application or during the 90 days immediately preceding and following the date of filing of any visa petition supported by the application, any United States worker (as defined in paragraph (3)) (including a worker whose services are obtained by contract, employee leasing, temporary help agreement, or other similar means) who has substantially equivalent qualifications and experience in the specialty occupation, and in the area of employment, for which H-1B nonimmigrants are sought or in which they are employed.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the House floor. The leadership of the House allowed immigration lawyers to rewrite the bill (the new version being provided by Fmr. Sen. Spencer Abraham (Republican from Michigan) before it came to a vote. The new bill grew by 21 pages. The text above became:
(E)(i) In the case of an application described in clause
(ii), the employer did not displace and will not displace a United States worker (as defined in paragraph (4)) employed by the employer within the period beginning 90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of filing of any visa petition supported by the application
(ii) An application described in this clause is an application filed on or after the date final regulations are first promulgated to carry out this subparagraph, and before October 1, 2001, by an H-1B-dependent employer (as defined in paragraph (3)) or by an employer that has been found under paragraph (2)(C) or (5) to have committed a willful failure or misrepresentation on or after the date of the enactment of this subparagraph. An application is not described in this clause if the only H-1B nonimmigrants sought in the application are exempt H-1B nonimmigrants.
Superficially, the new version appears to be doing somewhat the same thing. However, I have highlighted the key changes (other than the duration). Here we have the bill writers using indirection to conceal what the bill is actually doing.
You have to read farther to find this definition:
(B) For purposes of this subsection–
(i) the term `exempt H-1B nonimmigrant’ means an H-1B nonimmigrant who–
(I) receives wages (including cash bonuses and similar compensation) at an annual rate equal to at least $60,000; or
(II) has attained a master’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) in a specialty related to the intended employment; and
(ii) the term `nonexempt H-1B nonimmigrant’ means an H-1B nonimmigrant who is not an exempt H-1B nonimmigrant.
This provision makes it perfectly legal to replace an American at will by an H-1B worker if that worker is paid more than $60,000 or has a master’s degree. You hire a worker with a notorious “Master’s in Computer Applications” from an Indian diploma mill, and you can replace an American. Or, you pay more than $60,000 (the average programmer wage in LA is over $90,000) and you can do the same.
And thus, American workers remain roadkill for lobbyists and immigration lawyers.
When you see Americans at SCE, Disney, Pfizer, Cargill, AIG . . . being replaced by H-1B workers, it is no accident. It is how the H-1B program has been intentionally designed. The American corporations and the Infosys’s of the world have their lobbyists and lawyers. The working people of America do not.
Meanwhile, the morons in the media call any bill that increases the number of H-1B visas “reform.” By John Miano.
“They’re bringing in people with a couple of years’ experience to replace us, and we have to train them,” said one of the SCE employees replaced by an H1-B. Read… In Search of Cheap Labor in Tech: Behind the H1-B Visa Scenes
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Importing all this cheap and inferior labor to the American tech industry will turn out badly. I dropped out of the industry because it was very hostile to women. The foreign influence will make it even more hostile. It is not politically correct to bring it up but Indians, Asians, and even Europeans have negative attitudes towards women in the work place.
The quality of the skill set you bring to a tech job is also very important because the basic asset is the people. When you push the good ones out you diminish the company. Most non technical managers have no way of evaluating this metric. They look at the numbers and think cheaper is better. They don’t see the value in systems that are running smoothly. They think the job is so easy anybody can do it until everything breaks.
I will recount something I experienced some time ago. I was programming money transfer systems for a bank purchased by the biggest bank in Hong Kong. The new Chinese manager informed the NY group that the new system we were coding would be worked on by the NY group during NY business hours and the HK group during HK business hours. Same code worked on by different groups at different times with a considerable language barrier. I quit shortly thereafter. I later learned that during a major system test nothing worked. The NY team learned that the Chinese coders wrote code but never tested any of it because testing wasn’t part of the spec. No American programmer, even the bad ones, would find that reasonable.
Petunia, did you start your own company with all American workers after you quit?
By your own logic, then you should and could have outperformed other companies which do not value quality, right?
It’s not an issue of who can run the best company. This is an issue of labor laws and immigration. You can task people trained in IT to then build a business in response to unfair, legal or illegal, labor practices.
Actually my next job was a major Wall St firm where I wrote an ethernet server system, by my self, which an two different Asian colleagues had tried to do and said couldn’t be done. Think Twitter for bond quotes with instant messaging capability, way before Twitter was a twinkle in anyone’s eye.
I honestly don’t know how we get out of this after watching people voting against their own interests for 30 years. When you say the best Congress money can buy … we are still voting (or not bothering to vote) for these guys. What does that money buy? Television ads for the most part. People believe whatever nonsense is repeated most often. I’d like to propose something as a general rule … whichever candidate runs the most ads … vote for the other person (whatever party). You will make a mistake or two, but as a general principle it might work better than what we are doing.
You allude to another point which is very important and seldom addressed. No one in Congress has the appropriate knowledge base to legislate for the technical arena.
These people are blindly catering to whoever gives them more money. If you think the financial crisis was caused by bad regulation wait until they get started on the internet. Whoever throws more money at them will get their way regardless of what is best for the country.
The only solution is to be able to vote candidates out of office after they’ve been elected. I mean a day after if need be.
Obviously if every time you vote you get a ‘representative’ whose sole goal is to milk the system for his or her term, then nothing changes.
Vote em out ASAP and eventually they might get the picture. I’m a big fan of Pavlov.
H1-B is the tip of the middle class sell out iceberg. Don’t forget off-shoring, out-sourcing, and illegals. My answer is to tax the crap out of corporations that use these methods and the people who are receiving these jobs so us displaced workers can sit back and collect SS early. Until they get financially penalized, this egregious behavior will continue unabated.
It’s worth than you know: http://conservative-headlines.com/2012/04/how-asian-immigrants-get-preferential-treatment-when-starting-a-business/
US Gov’t funnel billions of dollars to immigrant business owners.
In order to understand how the H-1B sets up an indentured labor system (in addition to accelerating outsourcing), read this investigative report in detail. This investigative report seems to cover only the H-1B visa abuse so far.
In addition to the above H-1B visa, there are also other “nasties” like L-1 and B-1 visas and these visas don’t even have wage filing with the DOL. So what happens with these visas? This is what:
Note that this came to light only because someone felt bad and reported this :)
The entire L-1 and B-1 visas should have close to a 100% abuse rate as shown above, but no one knows since I am not sure whether anyone even keeps track of these wages at all.
DOL wants to suppress the H-1B wage info (as soon as some investigative reporters started asking questions) even though it will cost only a few GB to store this info. Does this look like a good idea?
If you are an investigative reporter, perhaps you might want to file an FOIA and get this info before DOL destroys incriminating evidence or you can investigate the L-1 and B-1 visas.
Or you can publish the details on the FOIA process (and your experience) as an article, so that mere mortals can learn from the experience.
By the way, this H-1B visa was a relatively harmless public policy until 1998 or so (until that point this visa was given to students who finished their MS and PhD degrees in STEM fields from US universities and even now this is not a problem). But in the late 1990s a few Wall Street analysts started putting out research reports with “Y2K labor shortage in STEM fields” scare (i.e., these were probably the only few quarters/years when the US workers’ “real wages” increased slightly during the last 40 years :) ). Immediately legislature sprung into action and added new sections in H-1B visa bill to bury the citizens. Yes these were the same superstar Wall Street analysts who were pushing worthless dot com stocks on to unsuspecting public (and since this dot com junk got in to total stock market indices even the ones who didn’t speculate got loaded with junk in their portfolios).
The late 1990s was a fertile period for bad legislation which were instrumental in emptying the citizens’ bank accounts over the last 15 years. This is when the congress was doing its “bi-partisan thing” and dug many holes for the middle class through bad legislation. (examples: H-1B visa changes to allow indentured labor to be imported into US directly to accelerate outsourcing, Derivatives deregulation, Repeal of Glass-Steagall Act, Fannie/Freddie lax oversight and many more gems). Every one of these bi-partisan gems turned out to be worthless (and toxic) glass within the next 10 years.
Destroying American workers is all the political parties can agree on.
Petunia your experience with your IT job sounds eerily similar to my own in the car business. The company I was working for imported a new (at the time) scheme called the track system, and took the negotiation part of the sales job out of salesman’s purview and added a greeter to the mix.
Since the job payed commission it took the incentive out of the job. Your salary was affected by the negotiation of management, and the best you could hope for was that your negotiator was a good closer. They weren’t – they made their salaries whether they were good or not.
Things came to a head one day when one of these geniuses had angered a customer so badly he was ready to walk. On my own initiative I stepped in and calmed the man down and closed the deal. The newbie salesman was grateful but management was furious. I was chewed out for recognizing the problem and acting on it. I was not a team player, they said.
I do not suffer fools gladly. Shortly thereafter I gave notice and had a trucking job lined up. Back then this was a tough nut to crack. Trucking companies wanted two years experience and had waiting lists of applicants.
When I gave notice the boss sneered that I would never amount to anything. “That’s right,” I said. “I’m not a team player.”
33 years later I’m still truckin’.
I am, Madam, Your Humble Servant JULIAN
Actually, the way our representatives advance corporate over public interest are more more varied and devious still. You note here that a safeguard designed to prevent what is – if we are to be honest with ourselves – the core goal of the program was watered down. True enough. Know too that the Departments intended to exercise those safeguards – DOS and DHS – are provided no resources to do so… How are they supposed to know if workers are laid off as a result of approval of H1Bs?
I mean in general, logic dictates that this is the point. Only the ignorant, the stupid, and self interested could believe the “jobs that Americans won’t or can’t do” pablum marched out by our corporate overlords for every immigration debate. But in specific? Somebody will actually be laid off and that specific job given to this applicant? The bureacrats don’t know, can’t know, and don’t want to know.
Both agencies have a culture of compliance with Congressional and corporate wishes, which are typically one and the same. It works like this: a rare, low level adjudicator refuses an obviously bogus application: the wages are too low, the candidate unqualified, or the evidence that no citizens available completely bogus. Company calls Congressperson, who then files an inquiry with the responsible office. Upper management, promoted precisely for their sophisticated, nuanced view of the law and their moral flexibility lean on the adjudicator, who can then comply or face the consequences.
Middle class America isn’t going to win a fight it barely understands.
Just like the financial industry, they appoint regulators who can’t regulate, which is what they want anyway.
No, Petunia, they appoint regulators whose ambition is to to to work for those they regulate at a much higher salary that they make as a regulator. It is all a scam from beginning to end: the appearance of a regulator
This is a natural outcome of people thinking they are too good and/or above the need to belong to a Union. Still think you’re exceptional? Your boss doesn’t. Of course you have readers like Mary thinking the jobs belong to the shareholders and not those doing them. Like I said, a natural outcome.
Taking back what you have lost is very hard to do. Protest, sacrifices, and strikes can do it, but modern tech workers will be too late as they believed they were intouchable. Computers are special, right? Knowledge workers are special, right? When you find out others can do your work for 1/2 the price and your company decides that is the way to go….well, maybe it is easier to go back to school and retrain or look for the proverbial hidden niche where you will be safe until retirement. John Steinbeck wrote about this 75 years ago in Grapes of Wrath, fittingly taken place in California.
I wish the IT segement luck and good fortune with this fight. The story never changes, only the players. Now, let’s see what you’re made of? My father-in-law once said to me, “it’s always trimming the fat when it’s the other guy. When you lose your job it’s a goddamn crime”. And it is.
Been studying this for sometime now and I recently put together this video showing that it is happening to every occupational group that pays more than $35,000.00 per year.
America, you need to wake up or you’ll be nearly homeless like me.
Myself, I believe we need to do more to Keep America At Work by hiring Americans in America.
I just watched your video. Pretty frightening. I wish I knew the answer to all of this. Or rather, how to get our reps to man up and do the right thing.
One of the factors I can come up with to explain the temporary H1B workers in California and the North East, including the Northwest is the huge migration of workers OUT of those areas. In California, it’s just been amazing as people have hightailed it out of that state as fast as they can.
But this would only account for a portion of the H1Bs.
Since I’m in the engineering field, I can attest to the problem with finding engineers to hire. One of the problems is that engineering companies will hire hundreds of engineers and then within a few years fire them. A number of engineers have just given up and gotten out of the business altogether. They were just tired of the hire/fire cycles. Consequently, many young inexperienced engineers have been hired with no one to guide them or mentor them. I’ve been approached to join a very major oil technology firm specifically for this very purpose.
Many plants are out in the middle of nowhere. It’s tough to entice engineers out of major cities like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, etc.
So, a lot of the H1Bs in engineering are to bring in some experienced help. But…usually, the quality of these engineers from 3rd world countries is not very good. Good ones are hard to find. I’ve worked with a number of them and I am impressed with their capabilities. Luckily, most of the poor ones are not hired, but we review their output here and it is usually sadly lacking.
A lot of media and people wanting to bring in h-1b visa holders to displace Americans will say there is no wage difference.
The most requested H-1B visa is for Computer Systems Analyst
So I put together a map for 2015 and 2014 showing a blue icon if they are being paid more than an American and a red pin if they are being paid less.
You be the judge:
There is one explanation in that these H1B visa holders are hired through contractor companies. The contracting company beats down the worker so that they can contract them out at lower rates to win bids. The company using the workers is charged a percentage above this as their profit. The company never sees these lower wages.
I know this for a fact since I have had to deal with these guys. I have 34 years experience as an engineer and they wanted to contract me out at almost half of what I was earning as a direct employee.
I have worked with some direct hire H1B guys, but I don’t know what they were being paid. But as soon as they get a green card, they can jump ship and play with the big boys and get paid what US citizens get paid. They aren’t stupid. They KNOW they are being exploited.
My son is in the IT business with a large online retailer. I’ve asked him some questions regarding what you have posted. I’ll let you know what he says.
How much money has been looted from the US tech workers approximately so far with the H-1B visa bill?
Approximate total number of people employed as Software Engineers in the US = 1 million
BLS data on the Software Engineer employment can be found here:
Main figures and assumptions:
# of visas issued = approximately 100,000 visas/year “every year over the last 15 years”
Difference in wages (less wages) paid to each of the above H-1B visa holder (when compared to a US STEM worker)= $30,000/visa/year (If you look at the DOL wages, you will find that the difference in wage is even greater, but I have used this wage difference for illustration purposes)
Approximate wage of a US STEM worker assumed = $100,000 / year (from BLS data it is slightly lower, but I have used this for illustration)
Loss calculation for tech workers:
Approximate loss just from recruiting these H-1B visa holders instead of US tech workers and paying them approximately $30K below market wages
= 100,000 visas/year * $30,000 /visa/year = $3 billion/year
Approximate loss from exactly one US tech worker laid off for each H-1B visa issued
= 100,000 visas/year * $100,000 /US worker laid off/year = $10 billion/year
In addition, 2 to 4 additional US software engineers in the US are usually laid off (sometimes with a few months lag so that the US software engineers can transfer knowledge to the outsourcing firm workers before they are laid off) for each H-1B visa issued to the outsourcing firm (one H-1B visa holder usually will “manage” around 10 to 20 engineers in “back offices in poor countries” and the work will be slowly transferred from the US and after a few months/years permanently out of US). The H-1B visa holder is the “anchor” who is imported into the US precisely for this reason. i.e., to move projects out of US.
Approximate Loss from 2 additional US tech workers laid off per year for every H-1B visa issued
= 100,000 visas * $200,000 (wages of 2 additional US workers laid off/visa/year) = $20 billion/year
Approximate Loss from overall wage reductions to US tech worker wages (a minimal amount assumed at $5000/US tech worker/year) due to excessive oversupply achieved through these “indentured laborers on H-1B visas”
= 1 million US Software engineers * $5,000 per US Software Engineer per year = $5 billion/year
Total Loss for tech workers in the US “per year” = 3 + 10 + 20 + 5 = $38 billion
= Total Loss for tech workers “over the last 15 years since this H-1B gravy train started”
= 15 years * $38 billion/year = $570 billion
There might be some disagreements about the figures used above and good labor market researchers can use their own figures. But it should be obvious that the loss for US tech workers over the last 15 years through these “H-1B visas” are in the hundreds of billions of dollars, regardless of the assumptions used above.
In addition, there are additional losses to the society through downstream wage loss (workers who rely on US tech worker spending), federal income tax losses, FICA tax losses, property tax losses, sales tax losses etc., I have not even included these societal losses in the above calculation.
So who has been pocketing the above looted amount for the last 15 years?
Have you been reading the SEC 10-K filings for publicly listed tech firms and tracking the stock option award recipients in those filings?
How can the legislature write such a bill?
Have you tracked (if it can be tracked at all) the political contributions from the “stock option awards recipients”names that you found in the 10-K filings above and from the tech firms to both political parties ? Even worse, the political contributions are usually from the “corporate account” (i.e., shareholder money)!
Truly a beautiful system where all money outflows are from common shareholders and general public and all money inflows are for personal benefit of the 0.01% and the legislators (who are also in the 0.01%!).
This is what is possible when there is “bi-partisan” agreement on some issue in the legislature :)
“Tragedy of the commons” indeed.
For the readers who might have contacts/knowledge in the law profession (ACLU perhaps?):
As I explained above both the legislative and executive branches have sold out, so perhaps the only recourse to stop this H-1B visas is through judicial branch of government.
Can the H-1B visas be stopped through legal grounds? Some examples for argument:
1. The legislators have no right to give away the jobs of citizens since citizens have spent time and money on acquiring the skills to earn their livelihood.
2. The law is discriminatory since it targets a group of citizens based on their field of chosen education and profession.
If you carefully think about the above questions, no job and no citizen is safe if these kinds of labor legislation are not challenged. Let us suppose someone in the US is interested in biotechnology (or any other field) and pursues this field.
All it would take for legislators to write a similar “H-1B for biotech workers” would be
a. some half baked “labor shortage claim” from the industry or Wall Street
b. campaign contribution/lobbying contract/director position for the legislator from biotech industry
and voila another million or more US jobs lost in that field.
Again, the multinational firms have the freedom to open offices in any country in the world and employ workers in those countries (and the multinational firms have been in existence since at least 1600s), so this is not the problem. In this scenario, US workers have to compete against workers in other countries (which is a problem for US workers but at least manageable since the ROE/ROIC in other countries is much worse than the US (which will be taken into account by the Corp Fin division in the tech firms before investment is made in other countries) for various reasons described below).
If you carefully look at the “sweetener/kicker” in the H-1B visas for the tech firms, it is that it allows the tech firms to enjoy all the benefits of US laws without the US tech workers. This is the “key problem”.
For example, a tech firm can enjoy all the benefits US provides (for which “all tax payers” provide funds through income taxes, sales taxes and other taxes)
a. flexible labor laws
b. reasonable corporate tax policies (e.g., R&D tax credit)
c. private property protection
d. Intellectual property protection (the key item to understand the H-1B boondoggle)
e. reasonable infrastructure
f. good research institutions (such as DARPA, NIH etc.,)
g. reasonably good public education (schools, state universities etc.,)
If you look at the ROIC (Return on Invested Capital) and ROE (Return on Equity) analysis across continents, you will find that US has the highest ROE of any continent (ROE in US around 17%, ROE in Europe around 12% and ROE in Japan around 8%). The reason for the high ROE/ROIC rates in the US is mainly due to the above factors (all of which is being supported by “all tax payers”).
There might be some differences in capital structure of the firms in these continents. But again you can adjust for the Debt/Equity portion on the capital structure of the firms (and appropriate cost of capital for these portions) to get at the proper ROIC, but this is minor.
The “key problem (or the key benefit for tech firms)” is that H-1B visas allow the tech firms to
a. achieve the high ROE/ROIC at US rates and
b. enjoy all protections provided by the US laws and
c. without employing US workers at all! (see my “anchor H-1B worker” described in earlier posts)
This is bad and is the key economic argument.
So what is your “friendly legislators and lobbyists” have been up to (in addition to H-1B visa laws) over the last few years in this area?
The lobbyists have decided that the looting from H-1B visas was not enough, so they have written the following bills and are trying to pass them through the legislature.
While reading these bills, refer to the labor force growth projections from BLS and see how absurd the visa numbers in these bills really are.
BLS projects a “total labor force growth (not yearly)” in software engineers until 2022 of 140,000 engineers. This is the total growth projections until 2022 and is not a yearly figure. Every one of these bills below has H-1B visas which are more than this total labor force growth “every year”!
So US would end up with 1.5 million “immobile indentured bonded foreign engineers” by the year 2022 with these bills even though BLS projects only 140,000 new jobs in this field.
These are the bills which increase these H-1B visa numbers (from the “already excessive as a percentage of total US tech workforce”) even more. To add insult to injury to the US tech workers, these bills are being written (and some even passed) during the biggest economic depression in the US in 100 years! This is the legislative body at work and at its finest!
As you can see, the lobbyists are “extremely well organized” and try many different tactics (some bills in house, some bills in senate and through both parties) to get these bills passed while no one is watching.
By the time the confusion settles with so many different numbers in various bills citizens will not even know what just happened. Some lobbyists are so good that they don’t even mention any numbers in the bills when the bills are written. The bills just have some vague statement like “repurpose any unused visas from other areas as H-1B visas” and citizens have to calculate these numbers!
Note: I suspect (or perhaps this is common knowledge) most bills in the legislature are written by lobbyists since no one else has a vested interest in writing new legislation which can be used in innovative ways to transfer money from the middle class. In other words, the benefits from these bills are “highly concentrated” but the loss is “widely diffused” across the population.
Does anyone have time to follow all these bills and the wording in these bills?
This is the “dazzle them with BS” principle at work.
Every legislator, lobbyist and tech industry executive knows “exactly what these numbers in these bills are/will be” since they derive monetary benefit from these bills based on these numbers.
There might be even more bad bills like this, but I did not have time to search them all.
5. S. 744 – Human Trafficking Reporting Act of 2013 – (Title IV, Subtitle A, SEC 4101, clauses (9)(A) and (9)(B) ) – The H-1B numbers in this bill are 2 to 3 times the already excessive number of H-1B visas which are issued currently. This bill has passed senate (during economic depression)!
6. S.169 – I –squared Act of 2013 – This bill increases the already excessive number of H-1B visas currently by about 2 to 3 times.
See Section 101: Market Based H-1B Visa limits, (9)(A)
7. H.R. 2131 – Skills Visa Act – See Section 201: H-1B visas, entire section has excessively large numbers of H-1B visas (multiples of the already excessive current numbers) buried inside it.
8. H.R. 459 – STEM visa act of 2013 – Section 3 of this bill “repurposes any unused visas from other categories and makes them as H-1B”. This will again be a very large number (many times higher than what it is currently). I did not have the time to derive this number.
Some of the major tech companies have announced public support for these visas. How about an out right boycott of their products to bring attention to the issue. Nobody needs to be on those major “advertising” sites. Tell your friends to withdraw and tell them why.
Adding to my above comment:
Something similar happened to me in 1980. I worked as a specialized float pilot on the BC west coast. All our competitors were Union and made a decent wage with benefits. Our non-union company under-cut their rates by paying us less money and hiring low-timers for new positions. We met with management and requested our renumeration be based on piece work known as base pay and mileage. We were also willing to take a lower scale than nearby competitors. (The company makes money…we make money.) They declined and kept us on salary and over time increased our hours of work and duty time. The company managers increased their perks and pay to the point of pissing us off, mightily. One day I hopped on a plane and a series of busses and visited a Teamsters business agent in Burnaby, BC (Vancouver Suburb). I left with a sheaf of sign-up cards and the warning to be careful as they (the owners) would try to fire me or hurt me if they found out. We had 100% sign up. The owners spent thousands in fighting union certification and managed to include the entire company in a vote to defeat the pilots. They boasted, “they had it in the bag” and compiled a hit list of who they would fire after the vote. Most of the pilots were to be replaced. We won the vote, despite both owner’s relatives (kids) etc being allowed to vote. I was 26 years old with a mortgage and a wife at home looking after our young baby. It took over a year to achieve our first contract and I was subsequently laid off Nov. 24th in order for the company to avoid paying Christmas and Boxing day stats (holiday pay). I said to the owner, “Merry Christmas”, and asked him how he could live with himself with that kind of attitude? He looked sick with the truth of it all, but denied he was being vindictive. I never returned because I was good at my job and I soon found another one, and despite having to move it was a net positive. In subsequent years some jobs were union, and some were not, but I always insisted on fairness and respect wherever I worked. I also busted my ass for my pay, ‘believing in a good days work for a fair days pay.’
Today, aviation companies are still doing the same thing, hiring foreign workers. The helicopter industry is the worst. However, due to recent protests and newspaper articles our Canadian Federal Govt has had to restrict the applications for foreign worker permits. Companies were outraged and protested but to no avail. The Conservative Govt and participating companies were exposed and have had to retreat in the face of public anger.
There are solutions. Change is possible. But complaining about it is only the first step in taking your jobs back from vested interests; the 0.01% who pay the lobbyists and control the media.
There is an app for that! Buycott. Google it and you should get more info.
I haven’t tried it.
So substantiating links for your cause/campaign (which proves why you want to avoid buying products made by specific firms etc.,) at the buycott website would be:
Wage theft/Wage fixing collusion by tech firms in the US (criminal anti trust violation stretching for more than 20 years easily settled out of court with no fines or prosecution from DOJ!):
US tech workers are filing lawsuits in civil courts now on this wage fixing/wage theft issue (without this civil case (and perhaps there might be others in the future), the whole thing could have been totally suppressed since it is all out of court settlements):
The case is In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California 11-cv-2509.
More egregious violations in other countries in the supply chain (this place is basically a gulag):
You might end up with pretty much all the US tech firms :)
But worth giving it a try at least to see how it works.
This shows how a majority of the tech industry is out of control (just like the investment banks). When the industries in the US are ranked according to the profitability, the Finance and Tech industries are at the top (something to think about).
Most of the tech companies make money in the indirect way (i.e., thru ads, tracking your location, other creepy crawly activities and other platform based products where the end user does not generate revenue, but the revenue is generated through advertisers by tempting users to buy garbage that they don’t really need)
But I think that people can pick and choose their specific cause and also specific companies and load it on their phones. I am not sure how this whole “buycott app” works.
For blocking ads and other garbage:
Adblock Plus, Ghostery and Privacy Badger on your browsers (these are needed regardless of product boycott or not since these are browser essentials to filter garbage on your browser) and
perhaps tor/PGP/VPN and
proton email and
no facebook (ello perhaps or others like it) and
no twitter/LinkedIn etc., and
turning off “location tracking” and other creepy features on the phone unless absolutely needed
To find out which firms are supporting this bad H-1B legislation (and even worse ones just like it with just different bill numbers), you can go to
and search for bills and see the sponsors (the firms usually try to hide behind industry organizations)
I spent four years in Thailand and learned the following: their labor protections, particularly at the low ends, were massive compared to those in the US. You can’t just move to Thailand from the US and become a bricklayer or a carpenter or deliver pizzas on a motorbike, because Thais can do those jobs, so why would they hire you? (at any price). Without that visa everybody quickly knows who you are and you get picked up fast–no welfare for that, or period. The idea of illegal immigrants or even legal immigrants getting paid far less does exist (mostly from Myanmar or Cambodia) but they try to stem it. Either we can go back to a protectionist policy that tries not to give away the good jobs to the lowest bidder, or we can wait 20 or 30 or 50 years for the world population to begin their own union agreements globally (and hope the powers that be don’t try to fly the remaining jobs to outer space). We could also wait for the powers that be to self destruct, but they’ve proven pretty hardy so far. Or we can all walk away from money…literally. I mean the concept of money as it’s understood now entirely…