Monday, May 14, 2007

Senators Durbin & Grassley question top H-1b users

Senators Durbin and Grassley have sent a letter to nine H-1b users inquiring about their usage. In that AP article, Compete America counters that H-1b “abuse is the exception rather than the rule.” FULL TEXT OF DURBIN/GRASSLEY LETTER IS HERE.

Programmers Guild rebuttal to Compete “America”:

  • If “abuse” includes hiring H-1b without first demonstrating an attempt to recruit qualified Americans, then abuse occurs in over 99% of H-1b petitions.

  • If “abuse” includes paying a wage substantially below what average Americans earn in the same job classifications, then about 80% of H-1b petitions qualify as abuse, by paying Level 1, 17th percentile wages.
  • If “abuse” includes engaging in statistically discriminatory hiring practices based on nationality, then virtually all Indian bodyshops are abusing the H-1b program.
  • If “abuse” includes first hiring H-1b workers and then submitting their resumes to U.S. job openings – in direct competition with American workers – then most bodyshops are abusing the H-1b program.

Which begs the question, how does Compete America define “abuse”?

Furthermore, why is Compete AMERICA concerned with this inquiry? None of the nine entities are AMERICAN companies – most are based in India. Compete AMERICA should support this inquiry as potential unfair competition with AMERICAN firms that COMPETE for available H-1b visas.

DIRTY SECRET: Perhaps the connection is that the letter cites I-Flex, which is a majority owned subsidiary of Compete America member Oracle, and that Robert Hoffman is both Co-Chair of Compete America and Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at Oracle.

I-FLEX LCAs are here. The vast majority are for $60,000 salary, the precise salary that permits an employer to be comprised of 100% H-1b workers and still not be deemed “H-1b dependent. How is Oracle not "abusing" H-1b? I-Flex: 212-430-5800.

The Durbin/Grassley list includes several H-1b users that the Programmers Guild had previously identified as the "lowest paying H-1b users"

  • TATA is #5 at less than $38,000

  • Patni Computer Systems #27 with an average LCA wage of under $42,000
  • Mphasis Corporation is #64 at less than $45,000

  • Wipro Limited is #92 at less than $48,000

These wages are far below what average American EE/CS grads command upon graduation with ZERO experience. But Compete America claims that H-1b brings in the “best and brightest” workers with “specialized skills.” How is paying the worlds top talent below average starting wage not “abuse”?

Last month the Congressional Research Service reported how H-1b fails to protect American workers from displacement.

Still, rather than fix these flaws, many in Congress intend to expand the program.

COMPETE AMERICA CONTACT: Eric Thomas 202-822-9491
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On the Net:
Sen. Chuck Grassley: http://grassley.senate.gov/
Sen. Dick Durbin: http://durbin.senate.gov/

John Miano's H-1b Wage Study "Bottom of the Pay Scale" - clearly the underpayment of H-1b workers is not an "exception":


6 comments:

Colleen Yuan said...

Abuse was recognized 40 years ago in 1967 when Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Congress recognized that when older workers became unemployed, they tended to remain unemployed for longer periods of time. Congress also recognized that companies hid behind third party recruiters to shield themselves from (race) based discrimination claims. Has ADEA modified the behavior of corporations? Today we have more third party recruiters than ever before to hide and shield companies from Age based discrimination claims.

Now let’s look in the newspapers and online to see if there are any real companies who produce real products who are advertising jobs and hiring. Woops… no advertisements in the newspaper and hardly any help wanted advertisements online either. Instead of advertising jobs to ensure Equal Employment Opportunities and Equal Access to jobs for the American Workforce force, companies simply go to the websites of Adecco, ManPower or Robert Half International and “place an order” and then the big 3 receive H1B resumes from all the Mom & Pop recruiters out there… completely bypassing the American Work force.

Is this discrimination against American Workers? Yes, Absolutely.

Is this an abuse of the H1B Visa Program? Yes, and it is willful an intentional.

Is recruitment of H1B Workers prohibited by the H1B Rules? Yes.

Are Recruiters abusing the system when they recruit for H1Bs? Yes… and in violation of the law.

But Compete America says abuse is “the exception rather than the rule”.

Hmmm. Could both be true… a lot of abuse and a little bit of abuse?
Of course not… somebody is lying.
To figure out who is lying here, just go to…

CRS Report For Congress, Immigration, April 24, 2007
Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/84327.pdf
go to the section entitled “Certification versus Attestation” and it says…
• Many (corporations) argue that the labor market tests in the INA in their current forms are insufficiently flexible, entail burdensome regulations, and may pose potential litigation expenses for employers.

• Proponents (corporations) of these views support extensive changes — particularly moving…

• from labor certification based upon documented actions (i.e., evidence of recruitment advertisements)

• to a streamlined attestation of intent. These advocates of streamlining maintain it would increase the speed with which employers could hire foreign workers and reduce the government’s role in delaying or blocking such employment.52

So there is the EVIDENCE that corporations are asking Congress to drop the expectation that
Evidence of advertising jobs be provided so that they can more quickly bypass the American
WorkForce and hire foreign workers. The abuse is willful and intentional… not a mere occasional exception here and there… it is rampant… abuse and discrimination is the rule all along the recruiting process up to and including the selection procedures for hiring… all while excluding American Workers all along the way.

Competiveness is always an issue…
but never has any company I have ever worked for asked
me for to help eliminate expenses from the companies balance sheets.

And if Compete America is genuinely concerned about Competitiveness,
Why has Compete America not lobbied the U.S. Department of Commerce
In order to request U.S. Trade Representatives to raise disputes with India
Over the subsidies India provides via 5 and 10 year Tax Holidays?
Why Is that Eric Thomas, a spokesman for Compete America?
Tell us Eric… why this is so… We want to know.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the chart in Figure 4 of this blog.

85% of H-1B LCA prevailing wage claims are below the 50th percentile of US wages.

What more evidence is needed that the H-1B program is used to increase labor supply and supress wages.

Congress is giving the US worker a raw deal by permitting such tampering with the US labor market.

Anonymous said...

On-line e-mail sent to Senator on 6/30/07
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Dear Sir:
This is with reference to your recent investigations into L1 and H1B misuse by Indian (Asian) companies, like TCS or Tata Consultancy Services.
I have an interesting story which may give you some insight into how TCS and other companies work.
Sometime back TCS sent several people from Mumbai, India to Atlanta, GA some on L1 and most others H1B visas.
These employees were required to work for any number of hours for GE in Atlanta. The customer, GE, asked them to work more than 10 through 14 hours a day. They used to work most weekends too.
Now, here is the catch, these employees could get only 40 hours on their time-sheets signed. Any hours beyond this was not allowed by the customer based upon an "agreement" with their employer, TCS.
Even though the employees were on H1B visas, they did not get direct salaries but rather a small "allowance".
TCS directly filed their tax returns, so the employees not only did not get the amount as required by law but they did not have control over their own tax returns.
Over and above this, TCS's policies in India mention that the employees salary will continue to be given in India when these people are deputed overseas.
However, the salary structure is such that TCS gives a very small amount as main or basic salary and a huge amount as India allowance.
So when the employee is deputed over seas, he/she does not get the India allowance but only a small basic salary.
This also helps TCS get away with small amounts for taxes and other benefits as well as bonus due to the low basic salary.
Amazingly, this is a common practice by almost all Indian (Asian) companies and the American companies know about this, but keep their mouth shut as they get cheap labor.
In such a case, why would GE or such American company hire an American if they can get unlimited cheap labor from India?
Hope you will be able to take appropriate actions against both, Indian and American companies for such fraudulent business practices.
Thank you.
With best regards.
Viren

Anonymous said...

H-1B employees get paid less because their employers (so called software consultancies) exploit them. These type of companies charge huge billing rates to the client companies but pays peanuts to the H-1B employees. Read the complaints posted by H-1B employees at www.h1bmates.com.

Mr. Kim Berry said...

Thanks for the tip about www.h1bmates.com!

Love for America said...

Questions for this guild...

1. If all the H1b holders were asked to go back, are there enough American born programmers to fill the void?

2. How many Americans will give up their lifestyle to take up the lifestyle of H1b holders? i.e. 18 hours in front of the Computer etc. etc.

Do goto http://politicsforfood.blogspot.com to vote...