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Businesses United States Technology

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say 401

sabri writes To have a labor shortage or not to have, that's the question. According to the San Jose Mercury News: Last month, three tech advocacy groups launched a labor boycott against Infosys, IBM and the global staffing and consulting company ManpowerGroup, citing a "pattern of excluding U.S. workers from job openings on U.S soil." They say Manpower, for example, last year posted U.S. job openings in India but not in the United States." "It's getting pretty frustrating when you can't compete on salary for a skilled job," said Rich Hajinlian, a veteran computer programmer from the Boston area. "You hear references all the time that these big companies ... can't find skilled workers. I am a skilled worker."
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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

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  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @07:50PM (#47395903) Homepage Journal

    I'll call you on your trolling and bs. My wife works in the Comp Sci department at a major university and also works *with* people in the programs at others. Well over half the grad students in most programs are born and raised in the US, and many of the best candidates are from the US. This story is about outsourcing based on cost, not on 'deep understanding of theory'. If you're not trolling you're just woefully wrong.

  • by Octorian ( 14086 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @08:17PM (#47396051) Homepage

    I've been around such graduate departments before. Having a department of 50+ students where you can count the Americans on one hand actually seems exactly like what I remember.

  • by Old VMS Junkie ( 739626 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @08:36PM (#47396143)
    Yeah, and the American workers laid off to be replaced by outsourcers at 1/3 the price, that's the workers' fault too. Capitalism will always leverage poverty and when you can hire someone who thinks that having a flush toilet is a luxury over someone who expects a decent wage, you can pretty much count on the switch being made.
  • by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @08:40PM (#47396163)
    I came across a very interesting thing. It seems that for several of the large corps that I consult to, their biggest problem with onshore Indian resources (read resources in India) is job hopping. They do it more than the west. I call shenanigans from a shill.
  • by Old VMS Junkie ( 739626 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @08:40PM (#47396167)
    "The only reason to outsource is because of the massive shortage of tech workers." I call bullshit grande. I'm living through an outsource right now and it's ALL ABOUT COST. The existing help desk, first level support, and second level support were shown the door and replaced with 50% off bargain employees from Elbonia and elsewhere. Competence had zero to do with it. Uptime of our apps has tanked, ticket queues are ballooning, the new support folks can't find their ass with both hands and a map... but they sure are cheaper.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:19PM (#47396391)

    It's probably more like HR incompetence than any company conspiracy theory. HR don't understand tech. Recruiters don't understand tech. Having them both looking for and vetting candidates prior to giving the resumes to the team leaders is often counter productive.

    I've been on both sides of coin many times and every time dealing with HR and or recruiters is incredibly frustrating.

    Right now we're hiring. Truth is we probably get 6 times the number of H1B applicants compared to US applicants. Many US applicants don't want to relocate, or have several years experience and just-aren't-good. It's rare that we actually get any US applicants coming out of university. There's a good chance that one of the six H1B applicants is good, motivated, hardworking and smart... hence we tend to hire more of them. Most of them have multiple masters degrees, usually completed in US universities.

  • by sabri ( 584428 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:38PM (#47396481)

    H1-Bs in America currently have two options: 1) Remain at current sponsoring employer or 2) go home, because quitting means immediate revocation of their visa.

    2B: Hop to an employer that is willing to sponsor a change in their H1-B.

    From Wikipedia: []

    Despite a limit on length of stay, no requirement exists that the individual remain for any period in the job the visa was originally issued for. This is known as H-1B portability or transfer, provided the new employer sponsors another H-1B visa

    From the employees perspective, there is one problem with this: once an employer has started the permanent residency (greencard) process, it is a bad idea to move because you'll be starting all over again.

  • by m00sh ( 2538182 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:40PM (#47396497)

    With many of these odd job descriptions you speak of, I suspect many of them are cases where said company has already identified the specific individual they want to get an H-1B visa for. So this is essentially a copy of their unique resume. They just need to publicly post the job to fulfill a legal requirement before they can get them the visa.

    It is not for H1B, it is after the H1B to get the green card. There is a step called employment verification or something like that.

    Basically, it's a step to get someone off H1B status and into a permanent resident of the US.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:46PM (#47396875)

    Basically, it's a step to get someone off H1B status and into a permanent resident of the US.

    This makes no sense. Why would an employer want a permanent resident instead of an H1B? A permanent resident can quit and go work elsewhere, and is no better than hiring a US citizen. But an H1B visa is tied to a specific company, so if they quit their job, or are fired, they are sent back to where they came from, at their own expense. As an employer, I love H1Bs, because I can make them work long hours on tight deadlines, and if they complain I can threaten to send them back to Bangalore. Also, since H1Bs have to be paid the same as US citizens, I can use them as an excuse to hold down salaries across the board. If a US citizen employee starts whining about wanting a raise, I can tell him that if I give him a raise, I will be legally required to give the same raise to all of the H1Bs, and since there isn't enough money in the budget for that, it mean no raise for you! Heh, heh.

  • by m00sh ( 2538182 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @02:53AM (#47397715)

    The law was changed over 15 years ago to allow the same H1B to be used when changing jobs.

    You can transfer an H1-B, but the employer who currently holds it has to approve the transfer. The employer holding it can refuse to perform a transfer, and prevent the operation.

    The law you refer to assumes cooperation between the parties.

    It's occasionally found for some companies to basically hold "H1-B" and "Green Card Application" hostages to work at lower wages. I've worked at a couple of companies which I later found out employed this tactic, and I've seen several contracting agencies that contract for work, H1-B in workers, and then take up to 70% "commission" on the contract wages on top of everything else.

    Technically, there is no such thing as a H1B transfer, there is only an H1B application. Only the hiring company is involved in an H1B application. It is utter and absolute made-up nonsense that the former employer has to approve anything.

    I have heard that H1B and green card petitions are treated as mini-promotion steps. Instead of raises or promotions, sponsorships are given. Perhaps some smaller unscrupulous "contractor" organizations will do that. In the larger corporations, H1B and green card petitions are done as soon as possible as company policy and promised as such before employment is finalized.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 07, 2014 @03:38AM (#47397799)

    There were experiments on paying everyone a basic payment conducted in some US and Canadian Towns in the 60s and 70s. It worked on a small scale then. There was a small decline in average hours worked but mostly in people working lots of hours. It wasn't politically acceptable though.

    Probably wouldn't work these days when wages and conditions are worse and there are so many special welfare entitlements like health, housings, disability etc.

    A robot won't displace 1000 workers. The US manufacturing industry has already shifted to high skilled manufacturing. You will get robots replacing machinists but they are doing machining to high precisions. So you need a skilled worker for every few machines to sample the output for accuracy, checking wear on the tools, organising calibration and maintenance. You replace several machinists with one higher skilled operator, who gets paid 4 times as much, but still works shifts because the get a return on the capital investment int he German robots you need to operate them 24/7. The parts then get shipped off to a low wage area to be assembled into stuff that is shipped back into the US market.

    The big change will come to white collar jobs, where people are already paying massive tuitions fees to get well paying ones. All of the jobs shuffling paper, ticking boxes, talking to people will be automated. Even things like dealing with legal documents, case law searches, medical diagnostic trees can be automated to work better than skilled professionals at a fraction of the cost.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.