Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Microsoft, Oracle, and Google demand that H-1b remain a source of cheap labor

Microsoft, Oracle, and Google are lobbying the Senate for an increase in the H-1b visa quota, arguing that they have thousands of job openings that they cannot fill with Americans. But is that the true motive?

The DOL prevailing is split into four levels, with level one being about the 17th percentile of what average Americans are paid for the same job classifications. Currently most H-1b use the level one wage. Senator Durbin sponsored an amendment whereby only 30% of the H-1b at any company could be paid at level one. (The remainder could be paid at level two - which would still be below average.)

Oracle's vice president Robert Hoffman, who speaks for CompeteAmerica, opposes the amendment. "Thirty percent is an artificial barrier," said Hoffman.

Why does Hoffman oppose the amendment? Here are the DOL wages for Computer Programmer in Los Angeles:
  • Level 1 Wage: $21.59 hour - $44,907 year
  • Level 2 Wage: $27.88 hour - $57,990 year
  • Level 3 Wage: $34.18 hour - $71,094 year
  • Level 4 Wage: $40.47 hour - $84,178 year

The wage for an average-skilled American computer programmer in Los Angeles is over $64,000 per year. Yet Oracle objects to having to pay their H-1b workers more than $44,907.

How do we know that Microsoft, Oracle, and Google do not need H-1b due to a labor shortage?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft received résumés from about 100,000 graduating students in 2004, screened 15,000 of them, interviewed 3,500, and hired 1,000. Microsoft receives about 60,000 résumés a month for its 2,000 open positions.

Working at Google is among the top choices of U.S. graduates, flooding Google with 1300 resumes per DAY.

30 comments:

epellon said...

First I would like to say to Mr. Kim Berry, Thank you for your fine and very important work!!

I have been in the business of providing IT Consultants for 20 years, so I have seen it all. The recent H1-B Video of the Immigration Law firms procedures to basically defraud America was shocking....but no surprise to me. I knew this has been going on for years.

I would have to say what is more shocking and disgusting is seeing a great American Icon in Bill Gates, in front of the Senate, basically begging for more cheap H1-B resources for him and his company to make more money. America made him great and he turned the power that came with the greatness against the American People. Thanks to that now famous "H1-B Video", the masses will understand what we mean by corrupt and unfair to Americans. That video is going to do more good to our cause than thousands of posts on these blogs!!

Mr. Berry, I am planning on requesting an Amendment be added to the Immigration bill. I feel that my proposal should become America's Proposal. I would like to have the Amendment referred to as the "H1-B and L-1 Visa Social Security and Medicare Recovery Amendment".

In order to bring some equity back to the American tax paying workers, we at Peningo Systems would like to propose the following as the "H1-B and L-1 Visa Social Security and Medicare Recovery Amendment":

- Any company that hires an H1-B or an L-1 Visa to work in the United States must pay a tax that is equal to 100% of the “Employer and Employee” portion of the Social Security and Medicare tax. This is important, since it takes away one of the “MAIN” incentives to fire an “AMERICAN WORKER” and replace them with an H1-B or L-1 Visa based worker. As it is, all H1-Bs, L-1s and their respective employers ARE EXEMPT FROM PAYING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAX! This practice must stop. This Proposal is also very important, since it addresses an issue that is near and dear to every American, and that is, supporting Social Security.

- To combat the abuse of low pay to the H1-B and L-1 Visa holder, which results in the under cutting of the American based worker, which is a violation of the letter of the law, the Federal government must come up with a “Up To Date” Salary survey that would accurately reflect what an American actually would get in the free market place. Then the H1-B or L-1 Visa holder MUST be paid in the UPPER 10% of the Salary range...that's right.... the H1-B MUST be paid in the UPPER 10% of the Salary range. This would insure that H1-B are treated, in terms of cost, the same as an American and that the H1-B is truly a talent that is needed!

If we implement these 2 proposals, then the H-1B would compete with an American based worker on the merits of his/her abilities and not solely based on the fact that the H1-B's resume looks good and the H1-B is 10s of thousands of dollars cheaper than the American.

This is a fair way to bring equity back into the US as well as protect our Tax Base from the Tax Evading scheme of hiring foreign workers and avoid paying for Social Security and Medicare tax.

If you and your readers think this proposal for a bill amendment is a good idea, please feel free and spreading the word!!

If you have time, please check out my Blog at Peningo Opinion Blog

Thank you

Anonymous said...

For H1b Prevailing wage calculation is wrong. They should take atleast in the median of highest and lowest market pay. Also H1b persons are considered as one of the best in the world according to Microsoft. So their pay must be atleast 50% above the market pay. I am sure this will minimise the abuse at the same time if there is real shortage of skilled persons that will be resolved

Anonymous said...

Want to fix this problem? Lawyers are grossly overpaid; let's waive all bar rules, and let companies hire in foreign lawyers.

Anonymous said...

the story says:


Microsoft, Oracle, and Google are lobbying the Senate for an increase in the H-1b visa quota, arguing that they have thousands of job openings that they cannot fill with Americans.


Where in the Constitution does it say that Congress will serve as the Human Resources department for business?

Why is Congress tampering with the free labor market in order to appease these companies?

Don't let history repeat itself. In 2001 Congress increased the cap to 195,000 and then recession hit. Americans were being laid off en-masse while H-1B visa holders were being hired. In this situation, Congress could have intervened in the labor market by halting H-1B visas - but of course they did NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of friends who work for Microsoft and who are on their H1B. Even the fresh graduate is getting at least 70,000 +. I dont think Microsoft is paying anybody that less. I know there are some companies( those bodyshoping ones) who pay really less, but MS, Google, Oracle are pretty good paymasters regardless of citizenship status

Weaver said...

anonymous wrote:

"I know there are some companies( those bodyshoping ones) who pay really less, but MS, Google, Oracle are pretty good paymasters regardless of citizenship status"

So why isn't Microsoft, Cisco, Google condemning the body-shopping practice?

Normally, when Microsoft wants something the simply crush the company that has what they want. Why is MS being so nice to competing body-shoppers that are screwing them out of 20,000 to 30,000 visas?

Anonymous said...

We should demand documentation on who and why they disqualified a candidate applying for the posted position and who they hired and that person's qualification.

Anonymous said...

We should require that of all employers.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a reverse discrimination hidden ajenda as well. If Americans were to hire only American, this would quickly be acted apond by legislation. But today I am seeing ethnic groups dominating the high-tech industry. Sort of a "Boys Club" mentality. Yet the legislators are not acting upon this.

John said...

Liars. They won't hire a single H1-B if it was more expensive than hiring U.S. worker.

Anonymous said...

Companies hire people from the bodyshops as "temporary workers" to replace the American workers. The bodyshops hire fresh grads as h1 and force them to lie about having years of experience to fetch a high rate.
I am one such person. Its a vicious circle. I dont blame you or the h1's. We all want a better life for ourselves but we are all ultimately helping feeld the greedy corporations.

Anonymous said...

epellon is an idiot, all H-1b workers are being taxed like US workers, they and their employers have been paying the FICA tax. Check the IRS site if you will.

Why used LA salary while Microsoft is located in Redmond, WA, and Oracle and Google located in Silicon Valley?

The H-1b petitions of Microsoft show a salary range of 80-100k on average. And Oracle and Google have a range of 90-110k. Those tech giants are not that cheap, ok? If one's not hired by them, you can tell it's because he/she's not up to their standards. And finally, yes, the tech giants do receive a lot of resumes, but since their bars are set very high, they can't just hire anyone who are just average (so unqualified), period.

Don't ever use the tech giants again in the examples 'cause abuses mainly come from some Indian-based and some cheap small companies.

Anonymous said...

this last comment about google's whopping pay range of 90-110k and its "high bar" is proof of its gouging the American workers who they are skipping over. same with mircrosoft's 80k, who has been tossing the resumes of experienced Americans for years, saying they don't have "just the right" skills?


does the belligerant commenter even have any idea what the cost of living in the San Francisco area is? you can rent a double-wide or a studio apt. with those big bucks, but this is a low salary for an engineer in that geographic location. also, this "high bar" is only for recent graduates and low-thirty somethings.the culture at google does not foster respect for older Americans with more experience and prefers young and imported labor. why? the younger and imported workers think 90K is big money and they rent apts. and houses, several people living together as the cost of living is so high/but how can a family surivive on this? that's why they like to pass up experienced Americans. these corps need to hire less of the young/imported workers and pay a higher salary to older, more experienced engineers.

Anonymous said...

You can argue 100k is not much in California, but can you live with that salary comfortably? Certainly. If you want to blame, blame the housing market. If 100k is not enough, ask your spouse to go to work, is 200k enough if both work? No matter what, ANY employed programmers STILL make more $ than an average American down the street, period.

By the way, if you wanna get REALLY RICH, go create a start-up, maybe you'll make another YOUTUBE, LOL.

Anonymous said...

By the way, EXPERIENCED workers don't mean much in this field. Didn't you realize that on day 1?

If my company is using the latest technologies, say Java/.NET, will I hire you if you're demanding 150k just because you've 20 years of Fortran/Cobol experience? I won't.

Even if you have 2 years of Java/.NET experience, your 20 years of Fortran/Cobol won't make you look better than a YOUNG (whether it's American or foreign) worker who has 5 years of Java/.NET experience.

Can you see that?

Anonymous said...

what spouse? how do you know i'm not gay or anti-social? why should i have to go and get married or have roomates just because some wage slave driver here in my town won't pay me to "do the job that most h1 workers want to take from me" so that those ceos can profit off the backs of us with advanced degrees? plumbers with hs degrees make more than than that race to the bottom pay you are so wowed about at microsoft and the others.

by the way, EXPERIENCED engineers don't mean much only because corrupt and unfair ceos have gotten away with profitting by lowering the wages through discrimination against experienced Americans.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

By the way, EXPERIENCED workers don't mean much in this field. Didn't you realize that on day 1?

To someone who knows the field, EXPERIENCED does mean alot. There is more to software development than just knowing the latest hot technologies. The processes and thought patterns involved are reusable no matter what technology you are working with.

Many executives and HR persons don't understand this and just look at cost, age, buzz words, and how much free overtime they can get out of you. Costs include health care - a young single person will be cheaper than somebody older with a family.

Remember - you too will become "old" and "experienced". Think of how you would like to be treated when that day comes.

Anonymous said...

We'll all get "old". Sure, I'm still in the 20's but I've already planned what I'll do once I become "old". I'll either get into IT MANAGEMENT or jump to FINANCIAL PLANNING.

This field is for young workers with faster brains. I don't understand why the old folks never realized that.

The HR and management don't understand that experience matters because they're mostly computer dummies, and we've no way to change that. They just won't pay triple a young worker's salary for better code that are LESS BUGGY or can be REUSABLE. They don't care as long as it WORKS (even if it means MORE BUGGY AND NOT REUSABLE).

Anonymous said...

H1Bs are not only exempt from paying any taxes, they are also required get a free meals at any restaurant in the US. This must stop. Each H1B must pay at least two American's Social Security tax and buy them quarter pounders every day.

Anonymous said...

CISCO H1B Story - http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/16986

Anonymous said...

epellon is really an idiot...I mean, all he needs to do is, look into an H1B employee's paystub to see whether they got FICA & payroll tax deducted or not...And believe me, H1B employees do pay THE SAME PAYROLL TAX as any other US citizen when it comes to employment...So, this guy just goes around twisting the truth thinking others are just idiots, when the fact is, HE IS THE BIGGEST IDIOT on earth who couldn't even do a GOOGLE SEARCH to see whether H1B's pay social security tax or not...

Weaver said...

anonymous said:

"If my company is using the latest technologies, say Java/.NET, will I hire you if you're demanding 150k just because you've 20 years of Fortran/Cobol experience? I won't."

LOL, Java and .NET are interpreted languages, try running your JAVA -.NET on a system where the engine/platform is not installed.

Further, JAVA and .NET can only access the APIs that are exposed to the interpreter. So anonymous would only hire programmers that can only program where Sun and Microsoft allow them to program.

C++ is a derivative of 'C', 'C' is a derivative of Fortran, almost all Operating Systems are written in 'C' or C++

BTW: Microsoft abandonded DLL Hell with .NET and went back to structured programming from the Fortran/C days.

I wouldn't hire a programmer that didn't know a compiled language like 'C', C++ or Fortran.

I've been .NET programming in Network Operating Systems for five years now. .Net cannot go where I need to go, so I need to read and write 'C' all the time.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

By the way, EXPERIENCED workers don't mean much in this field. Didn't you realize that on day 1?

Ever heard of "low coupling" and "high cohesion"? These fundamental concepts of software design where discovered in the 1970's by those "old" COBOL and Fortran programmers that you denigrate.

Your ignorance explains your arrogance. Believe it or not, you can learn alot from these experienced programmers.

So reveal your true motive - you are fresh out of school and here on a visa.

Anonymous said...

They do the same with doctors and nurses. The government is currently poised to bring in thousands of nurses from the Phillipines in the next few years. There is no shortage, only a shortage of YOUNG workers. Organizations that hire physicians are posting for"new grads" and most of these are Foreing medical graduates. Go figer.

Anonymous said...

Dude Oracle is a great pay master, paying over 100+ K per annum depending on candidtae .. This excludes stock options and tottal health insurance...

Anonymous said...

I think it shows pure ignorance to say h1b folks do not pay any taxes. Its easy to whip up popular sentiment by saying they don't pay taxes , social security etc , whereas the truth is just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

weaver, what you do stinks, it's something yucky that nobody but rats wanna do. Hey, it's time for you to go to an antique shop to pick up your Fortran 101 book.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

epellon is really an idiot...I mean, all he needs to do is, look into an H1B employee's paystub to see whether they got FICA & payroll tax deducted or not...And ...

You need to get your facts straight instead of name calling. There is some truth to what epellon says as far as Social Security taxes.

If an H1Bs country of origin has a totalization agreement with the US then that H1B does NOT pay US social security taxes. The totalization agreement means the social security taxes paid by the H1B are sent back to the H1Bs country of origin.

So you may be able to look at a pay stub and see Social Security tax deductions, but if the H1B's country of origin has a totalization agreement with the US then those taxes never reach the US Social Security fund - they are sent back to the H1Bs home country.

Anonymous said...

One of the main reasons the tech giants skip over American workers, particularly when it comes to recent graduates, is the difference in education between computer science grads in America and those from other countries. Other countries spend a lot more time educating students in the latest technologies and their practical applications, whereas, programs like the one I did in America concentrate way too much on theory using outdated technologies and overlook the latest tech and the practical applications.

Also, in regards to comments regarding hiring Americans before visas. It is the social responsibility of companies (large and small) to hire citizens before visas. Look at Australia, they have legislation that forces companies to prove (on public record) that they searched for a minimum of two years for a qualified citizen and that there were none before they are even allowed to consider a visa worker. You can't tell me that there are not 2000 qualified American citizens for the jobs at Microsoft. That's just B.S. They should not be allowed by law to hire a visa worker until they can prove that there are no qualified citizens.

Anonymous said...

I can see lots of people venting their frustrations on H1Bs. What i would like to says is if anyone is exploiting H1bs thats those small cheap bodyshopping companies who suck blood from the foreign workers until they leave them and join some big corp. And remember, if some company is hiring someone, they are doing that to improve their business and profitability and not to do charity to some average americans. Dont ask for reservation because you are american. Its always survival of the fittest.
If americans are so scared of H1bs, then why not do something and stop H1bs coming to the country altogether? That should be the first step to do. And then you will happily work in google microsoft and oracle ( if they survive after h1bs are gone ).