How Corporations Use H1B To Destroy the American Middle Class
It’s every American worker’s nightmare.
The boss says you are being laid off.
That’s bad enough.
Even worse, before you lose your livelihood you’ll be asked to leave behind some of your dignity, too.
That’s the way some Disney employees felt when they were asked to train foreign workers, apparently flown in from India, to become their younger and cheaper replacements.
“I just couldn’t believe they could fly people in to sit at our desks and take over our jobs exactly,” one former worker, who wasn’t named and is now unemployed, told The New York Times. “It was so humiliating to train somebody else to take over your job. I still can’t grasp it.”
A Times report last week detailed the situation at Disney and other companies where positions are outsourced to companies that hire foreign workers who come to the United States on H-1B visas.
That particular visa is often described as a way to employ foreign workers when companies can’t find enough skilled Americans to do the work.
In reality, though, companies have come to view workers on these visas like generic drugs —just as effective, but a lot cheaper.
It’s all about profit, says Ron Hira of the Economic Policy Institute and who testified before Congress in March about the ramifications of the visa program.
Hira said he made a Freedom of Information Act request for the wages of the employees of the outsourcing firm used by Disney. The median was about $62,000.
But he says he spoke to a laid-off Disney employee who was making about $100,000.
“H-1B guest workers are cheaper than American workers and don’t have much bargaining power, and any company would be foolish not to take advantage of this highly lucrative business model that has been inadvertently created by Congress and multiple presidential administrations,” writes Hira, who recently published a book on outsourcing and also teaches at Howard University.
Most of us were already well familiar with companies shipping jobs overseas.
Now, more often than ever, foreign workers are coming here to take our places.
Disney, whether it wanted to or not, has helped shine a bright light on this problem.
There had been plenty of other cases of companies laying off workers — and in even higher numbers than the 250 Disney let go.