Rebecca Ore on Mon, 7 Jul 2003 11:35:19 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Tech jobs and politics

On Mon, Jul 07, 2003 at 10:21:56AM -0400, Flint Heart ( wrote:
> <rant>
> Lets give americans that have lost jobs a fighting chance to find
> employment.  I'm fortunate to have a job.  It may make half of what i was
> last year, but I am working and can pay my bills.(finally)
> Down with h1-b visa's. Most h1-b workers I've dealt with don't have much
> work experience. Some have very poor communication skill.  There must be
> exceptions of this but those are the cases i've seen.  I've seen 
> competent coworkers fired and the less skilled h1-b's stay on ( can afford
> 2 for the price of one dommestic worker sometimes)  Something just seems
> wrong with management to be able to loose the ppl doing quality work and
> keep more ppl on that just can get by with there jobs.  I've had to rewrite
> code that has been written by these Programmers because they didn't test
> their code and it never would work with real data.  
> </rant>
> that made me feel a little bit better.

I know people who are competant workers on work visas and they feel like
indentured servants.  A lot of people assume that they can live safely
as cheaply as they lived in their own nations, and are utterly shocked
by the cost of living/danger ratios in most American cities.

I also remember some people who were brought over from Swaziland to
weave a tapestry for the Tampa airport and who weren't paid for a while
(until legal authorities stepped in).  It was absolutely not the case
that there weren't tapestry weavers in the US who could have done the
job.  They just charged more (in that time, circa 1985, an American
studio tapestry weaver was making around $16K as a journeyman; these
women were paid something like $300 a month plus room, no board).

Basically, a person on a work permit is bound to the company that
sponsored him, and will have a tremendous amount of trouble if he finds
another job (I'm not sure of the details, but the person may have to
leave and reapply to get back in).  So the company who hires the person
has much more control over him than they would if they hired an
American.  Let's face it.  If the economy got better and a programmer or
senior sysadmin could make more, they'd be out there looking for a new
job if they could.

Everyone does know that NJ Social Services hired a call center in India
to service its welfare clients, don't they?  It was in the NY Times NJ
section a while back.
Rebecca Ore
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