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60 Minutes 3/19/17 ep - H-1B visa program, Sudan, Sesame Street

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by cwerdna, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Was overall a pretty good ep.

    I do recall hearing about some UC system workers (forgotten it was UCSF) losing their jobs to cheaper H-1B visa workers before. At least this piece went into some more detail than I'd known about. Seems a little crazy that a govt affiliated body would do this. After all, the UC system is one of California's university systems.

    Hadn't known anything behind the scenes about Sesame Street. I definitely watched it in my childhood, just like about every kid in the US did back when it was age appropriate for them.
     
  2. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    That an esteemed U.S. university would do this is shocking.

    That Congress would enact the law's loophole allowing this equally so, until you remember that Congress was protecting the companies and not U.S. workers. But then, I guess, companies are "people," too . . . .
     
  3. pmyers

    pmyers Active Member

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    "Knowledge Transfer".....wow
     
  4. series5orpremier

    series5orpremier Well-Known Member

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    This is nothing new. It's been happening for 20 years and from what I've seen the main reason for the economic destruction and growing disparity between economic classes over that time.
     
  5. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Was Kellyanne Conway somewhere in the picture? ;)
     
  6. LooseWiring

    LooseWiring Active Member

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    Yeah. I'm currently in this situation myself.

    I've got 5 months of transitioning my job to an "offshore resource" and then... Who knows.

    Unfortunately, the job market in South Florida isn't exactly flush with Enterprise-level IT Manager positions.
     
  7. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    A factor, definitely, the MAIN factor, not sure. I agree with our President on very little, but this I do. At least his pre-election rhetoric (he's shown nothing so far that he was sincere about it however). While I understand why businesses might hire NEW employees overseas, it REALLY bothers me when the bring in these folks to take away EXISTING jobs, and then lie about it by saying there's nobody qualified in this country who can do the job, and has for years. If Trump is sincere about helping, he needs to close the loophole. Put I'd be shocked if he did.
     
  8. pmyers

    pmyers Active Member

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    Yeah....how can a company claim there is nobody qualified here, if that same company is basically financially blackmailing you for 3-6 months to train that person?
     
  9. bantar

    bantar Member

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    The way it works is that you find your favorite offshore candidate. Get his resume. Use this resume to create a job posting requiring exactly those skills. Make sure that the wages are lower than any American worker will accept. Now, post the position, see that no Americans are willing to do this job and if they did apply, they don't meet the tailored position requirements. Hire away. It's a pure wage play. The green card process is years long, so you can abuse this worker for the entire green card process. If they quit, their green card process starts over and they may not find a new sponsor. (I also know a guy who's uncle abused his own nephew like this. Got his green card and split immediately. Uncle had no remorse).
     
  10. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Apparently, according to the news profile, there is a loophole "exception" if the position pays more than a certain amount (I believe it was $60K). In that case, the foreign employee can be hired and the U.S. employee protections do not apply. The profile was focusing on tech. jobs, which pay above that threshold. And so replace your U.S. employee with a foreign worker under the visa program, and then pay less than what the U.S. worker was earning.

    Nice, huh? But hey, gotta protect those U.S. companies--they're people, too . . . .
     
  11. zordude

    zordude WDW Fan TCF Club

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    Also you don't have to post the job anywhere relevant to actual job seekers. I'm pretty sure when the posting for "my job" was done it was in a single regional tech rag.
     
  12. series5orpremier

    series5orpremier Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Make the job requirements so specific and detailed they can claim anyone and everyone doesn't have the qualifications, giving them the freedom to choose whoever they want. The only way to be qualified is if you already have that job, and it doesn't matter if the candidate has the aptitude to acquire the skills in a few days. All that matters is who is the cheapest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  13. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    And especially "touching" when done by the University of California/San Francisco. Perhaps the job of the university president, Janet Napolitano, should be filled by an Indian H-1B visa employee--I'm sure that someone can be found at less than her presumably 7-figure salary.
     
  14. logic88

    logic88 Well-Known Member

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    It seems like there is an easy fix for this. Just increase the minimum pay for H1Bs. I've seen a few proposals including simply doubling the salary to $130K.

    Or alternatively let companies bid for them. If it's really that hard to find US workers, surely these visas would be worth a heck of a lot more than $65K/year, right?
     
  15. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Well, of course there are easy fixes; including, as the Congressional originator of the bill stated, get rid of the loophole.

    But, will the president (who promised on this in his campaign) and Congress do anything? After all, Congress passed the loophole to begin with. And, the loophole is great for companies. You and me? We're must citizens, the owners of this country . . . .
     
  16. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    I'm not really complaining about that (and that's not what the 60 Minutes story was about). Companies have done this for years. Look at the immigrant workers brought over to build the railroad for example. The difference is in the story, you have jobs that are CURRENTLY being done by Americans who DO have the skill set and in fact are training their replacements. Basically, they are saying...you make too much money, so we are firing you. I've seen this happen over and over again in tech. So it's one thing to bring in new workers for new jobs from overseas, it's another to replace existing workers with years of experience and applicable skills with workers who are LESS qualified with LESS experience just because they make a lot less money. In many cases there are not companies who aren't profitable but companies who are making HUGE profits.
     
  17. bantar

    bantar Member

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    I've simply provided a technical explanation on how one follows the law to replace CURRENT workers. Maybe adding in the green card process is the confusion. What did I get wrong? In practice, there are really two different techniques employed depending on whether the worker will stay here in the US or return to their home after having been trained. If they are returning home and using a company such as WiPro or others, there may or may not have been any local discernment in the hiring. The offshoring company hires them, then sends them over to train. The visa is simply used for the training program. (This is equally as bad as the first method, but the first method leaves that person here in the US permanently). Most often, it's a combination of techniques that make this work. You send a few over that remain as permanent employees in the US and they become a conduit to the workers back home.

    There's a subtleness to this that is important to understand. When the (previously) foreign workers are able to compete in the free-market, they too want premium wages. By keeping the green card process long, it keeps the wage pressure on. Also, by keeping the work offshore, those workers can't compete in our local free market, so their wages remain reduced (even if at a premium back home), saving the US companies money. Due to our immigration laws, I've seen many guest workers bring their pregnant wives with them and have a baby in the US. One universal truth is that all people want to improve their station in life. And when there's too much tech pressure in a country (e.g. India), wages rise, so the US companies have to keep moving around to find lower wages, such as Vietnam, Pakistan, etc.

    I've managed technology teams in India, Russia, Turkey, Ireland, China, Brazil, Canada and probably a few more that I've forgotten. I've seen these practices first hand. I'll further tell you that most of these saved hard cash at the expense of productivity. There are great engineers all across the globe, but remote management adds complexity and problems that are not easily resolved, which is further compounded when you are working with dishonest remote folks, such as in China. In some cases, 2 local engineers can outproduce a team of 9 remote engineers, but when the bean counters look at this, they have a much bigger team. They compare the salaries of 9 remote vs 9 local instead of comparing 9 remote against 2 local. But, you cannot explain this and it doesn't always work this way either. The mandate becomes you must have 25% or 85%, etc of your headcount overseas. In some cases, my executives knew full well that the savings were not there, but they had a mandate to offshore workers and were considered failures if it wasn't done. A CEO told me once, all of my friends are offshoring, so I need to do it too. Truth is that his board was pushing him to do this as well. As a manager, one must be careful in the approach. Push back too hard, then you are declared not capable of doing this work and are therefore the reason that my program is failing. You must be replaced. How many times have you seen your boss surviving versus doing what he knows is right? You manage the cards that you dealt, be successful with them and then just wonder why success isn't defined in a more natural way. Offshoring has a place in the toolbox and it should be used where it fits - not everywhere.

    If H1B Visas are stopped or significantly curtailed, I don't see this stopping the practice of offshoring US workers. They will send the new workers over on a temporary visa for much shorter training (e.g. business meetings). To make it work, they'd just overlay the two teams for a longer period and maybe resort to more phone and video conferences to conduct the training. Likely, instead of laying off 50 US, you can only lay off 40. Keep 10 to run around and put out fires that are caused by the lesser training. Cutting green cards will help. And some method of tracking whether or not work is being done for the benefit of the US would be needed to curtail the pure offshoring (call centers, remote IT workers, etc). Tie the function to the location of the hiring executive. CTO is in Florida, this is US work. CTO lives permanently in India, then this is Indian work. I don't have a good answer, but I see the problem clearly.
     
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  18. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    To me, only see a few things that might stop this. One, if salaries overseas make it cost effective to keep the jobs here (salary plus incidental expenses such as travel). This scenario is highly unlikely, at least in the short to mid term. Second, if productivity goes down enough that it begins to effect customers enough that they no longer want to do business. More likely than scenario one, but hard for the beancounters to notice or care. I've actually seen this happen at large company I worked for, where a new head of our IT decided to outsource all but the essentials to another company who's staff was mostly overseas. This worked out poorly and eventually most of the work came back. And thirdly, if some disaster happens that brings business to a halt, such as a war, an embargo, or natural occurrence. Imagine what happens to so much of our IT infrastructure if Pakistan decided the time was ripe to attack India? Or China doesn't like our trade policies and decides to retaliate? Or an earthquake in an underdeveloped part of the world knocks out a major datacenter? The consequences could be huge for us.
     

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