The Senate is taking a looky-look at outsourcing by big corporations. From the N&O this morning:
These companies hire workers on H1-B visas, which allow technology specialists and other professionals to work in the United States. At least seven of the nine companies queried name either IBM, Red Hat, SAS or some combination of the three among their "strategic partners" -- companies for which they provide outsourcing services.
H1-B visas have long been a source of contention, particularly in the technology world.
Technology companies want more such visas, saying they can't find enough skilled U.S. workers. Critics of the visas say they are used to hire foreign workers at lower wages than their American counterparts.
I say good. I hope some real effort is made to correct the problem.
The sad thing is, this is getting attention now because the comfortably upper-wage worker is being affected. As long as it was just the construction worker or shop floor worker getting outsourced to cheaper labor markets, who cared, right? THAT was good for business. That problem gets a shoulder shrug and ignorant free-market bullshat comments like ...
"That's why you go to college. Don't ask me to bail them out of their bad decisions."
But ten years after tech sector workers started being hurt by the great wage-lowering phenomenon the media likes to call globalization -- engineers watching their wages stagnate, watching their options dry up, watching their buddies get layed-off 5 years from retirement and the staggering loss of permanent semi-professional career + benefits packages for kids coming out of college, the average middle-American tech sector worker in this country is getting angry, worried, and political.
They're not worried just about themselves. They're worry about their kid's ability to find work now. They see their kids, their neighbor's kids, their brother's kids graduating with engineering, computer science, information science, physical and life sciences degrees -- unable to find good permanent work in their fields.
But friends, we should have gotten here -- angry and political -- two decades ago when the Union busting started. I guess we just never imagined that the corporate 'worker busting' attitude would jump from industrial and manufacturing plants (full of h.s. graduates) to the engineering pools (full of college graduates) ... did we?
I would submit that this quote from the end of the N&O article holds a microphone to our collective salary-class hypocrisy...
"It's one thing to lose dress making," he said. "It's really damaging when R&D goes out the door."
Really? That's horrible. So, is that because making dresses wasn't your mother's job, but telecom engineering was her job, so now you care? Why does the dress maker not matter? Why does the spinning room or weave room worker not matter? but the engineer designing the circuit board does matter?, and the chemist developing the new beta-blocker does matter? Why?
Because the tables are starting to turn.
You didn't care about the working class falling into poverty -- still working and making less and less in real dollars year after year after year -- or their jobs totally drying up, packing up and literally getting shipped overseas. That, we were fed, was the price of free-trade and globalization. And we swallowed without a peep.
You didn't care that policy at many retailers (where those layed off factory workers wind up working) is to work hourly people 36 hrs a week on an ever changing schedule so they cannot qualify for health benefits (or get a second job), but they can quality for public assistance. That, we were fed, was the price of free-trade and globalization. And we swallowed without a peep.
But now, NOW that it's OUR jobs, OUR kids, OUR "class," the salaried college graduate, that's being affected by the full bore, bottom line attitude of the modern American corporation, NOW ... all of a sudden it matters. And still they feed us, "That is the price of free-trade and globalization."
Are you still swallowing?