Recently the Walt Disney Company wished for lower IT costs. Voila. Wish granted.
At the end of October, IT employees at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts were called one by one into conference rooms to receive notice of their layoffs. Multiple conference rooms had been set aside for this purpose, and in each room an executive read from a script informing the worker that their last day would be Jan. 30, 2015.
They were replaced with Indian workers here on H-1B visas. In order to receive their severance the displaced workers had to train their replacements!
Disney isn’t the only bad actor here.
Earlier this spring, a group of former employees filed suit against Southern California Edison charging the utility with abusing the H-1B program. The plaintiffs say they, too, were laid off and forced to train their replacements.
For years companies have been screaming for more H1-Bs. At the same time older workers have been screaming H-1Bs allow them to be replaced with cheaper workers from elsewhere.
This is not how H-1B is supposed to work.
From the NYTimes.com
According to federal guidelines, the visas are intended for foreigners with advanced science or computer skills to fill discrete positions when American workers with those skills cannot be found. Their use, the guidelines say, should not “adversely affect the wages and working conditions” of Americans. Because of legal loopholes, however, in practice, companies do not have to recruit American workers first or guarantee that Americans will not be displaced.
There’s a growing divide between what corporations want and what’s best for America. Disney and Southern California Edison might not care about their employees, but I do. This needs to be changed yesterday.