Story 2015-02-09 2WZS Congressmen raise concerns over SoCal Edison replacing 500 IT workers with H1-B visa holders

Congressmen raise concerns over SoCal Edison replacing 500 IT workers with H1-B visa holders

in legal on (#2WZS)
Southern California Edison (SCE) is currently in the process of cutting about 500 IT workers at its Irwindale offices and replacing them with cheaper H-1B visa holders working for Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services; two India based IT outsourcing firms. SCE will save about $40,000 per worker, about $16 million a year by replacing American workers with foreigners on an H-1B visa. The layoffs began in August and are expected to be completed by the end of March.

Perhaps it was the fact that SCE is a utility and more in the public eye or perhaps SCE was too flagrant in their swap, but U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) have both expressed concern over the incident.

"Based on the information currently available, this appears to be an example of precisely what the H-1B visa is not intended to be: a program to simply replace American workers en masse with cheap labor from overseas," Issa said in a statement released late Friday.

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill in January that would nearly double the number of H1-B guest worker visas.
Reply 6 comments

D vs. R (Score: 0)

by on 2015-02-09 21:16 (#2WZV)

I've never been sure why republicans are the ones against this (maybe old fashioned protectionism?) and why the democrats are against it (maybe they really do hate America?), because it always seemed to me to be opposite of their respective platforms: the republicans always tout their business friendliness and the democrats always seem to portray themselves as the protector of the little-guy. Obviously I'm not so naive to think that party platforms and party policy are the same, but it seems like both parties are going out of their way to be hypocritical on this issue.

I'm mostly just hoping for a day when the bipartisan support for exporting American jobs is replaced by bipartisan support for encouraging businesses to stop the brain drain. First we lost manufacturing and just now starting to bring it back, and now we're exporting (and in this case semi-exporting via remittances) high-tech and service jobs. At point do we just say "let Americans compete in a fair way?"

Re: D vs. R (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-09 21:43 (#2WZW)

It's really not a partisan issue. The bill to dramatically increase H1-Bs is endorsed by several members of both parties. People on both sides have opposed H1-Bs to varying degrees. On the Democratic side, at least Pres. Obama and Sen. Durbin spoke out against them (years ago), and those are just the first ones I found.

That said... It's easy for Republicans to oppose H1-Bs (and any other visas) on simple xenophobic terms. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley firms are socially liberal, so they endorse and support Democratic candidates, not Republican ones. And those same firms lobby for cheaper IT labor more than anything else, which means more H1-Bs.

Re: D vs. R (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-10 02:49 (#2X01)

That's my point. Both sides seem willing to be for it while equally sabotaging their own platform. What I meant was that I don't see why it's the republicans that are against it now rather than both parties being against it.

Re: D vs. R (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-10 00:47 (#2WZZ)

a) protectionism is having very high import taxes, like tech import tax in Brazil that drove the price of a PS4 up to $1800.
b) the reason people are against it is because allowing the US economy to self-destructing is a bad idea for everyone.

Re: D vs. R (Score: 1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-11 04:38 (#2X05)

The mindset of a typical Democrat is more in alignment with concepts like "citizen of the world", "all cultures (except our own) are valuable", "they are just like us", "one world government", and "absolutely unlimited immigration".

The mindset of a typical Democrat is more in alignment with concepts like "serve your country", "don't change what isn't broken", "stay safe", "better safe than sorry", and "responsibility for your own life situation".

It's a matter of optimism and pessimism. It's a matter of wanting variety or wanting safety. It's a matter of being a risk taker or being risk-averse.

oops, correction (Score: 1, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-11 04:39 (#2X06)

2nd one should read "Republican"