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RE: SICK PROFESSION

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Gerry,
I think the opposite should be true. It is correct that the employer is
responsible for the term of the contract. Furthermore, if the employee
wants to change employers he can't simply move over. The employer he
intends to go to must first apply for the help and then can arrange for
the transfer of the employee based on the remainder of his contract
terms. He can, however, extend the length of the stay up to six years
and in that time, the employee can apply for permanent status (costs
about $1,500.00 with plenty of legal firms on the Internet willing to do
this work).

I think that the employer, not so much the employee needs to display the
loyalty. I have a friend in Chicago who was a Polish Israeli (an
American Citizen who was born in Poland but moved to Israel as a young
child and then to the US when he was of college age).  Shlomo bought out
his mentor from a trucking business and his business did very well for
almost twenty years. After this, the recession hit his business and
Shlomo took almost everything in his personal savings to insure that his
employees stayed and had benefits. We don't see this type of employer
much any more and in my opinion, this is where we lost track of the
humanity issue that the success of a business is only as good as the
employees they have.

Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden, SE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)maddengine.com] 
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 3:42 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: SICK PROFESSION

Scott,

I was aware of the contract - pay in full even if you don't work the
entire time (Just like in sports when managers & coaches get fired). I
realize the financial issues are part of the decision, but it's also a
tough choice when you find somebody great (like my old place did and
David Fisher did as well) to let them go versus a less productive
American.

I was told the process of doing just the paper work and legal filing is
on the order of 5 grand per h1-b employee.

My personal belief is employees should have very little "sense of
loyalty" to companies, but should produce an honest effort daily. This
is tough (at least it was for me), especially at the first place you
work, because you learn the most (in general) and have mentors that
guide you early in your career. But my first employer "fooled" me into
thinking other places were sweatshops, cheap, or produced lousy work.
All tactics to stop you from exploring other options. Business don't
survive by caring about their employees, they have things like benefits,
401k, etc... to attract better people, not because they care. There are
exceptions though.

-gm

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu] 
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 3:03 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: SICK PROFESSION

Gerard:

You kind of seem to take issue with the one company laying of American
workers but keeping the H1-B worker (who did think was qualified, etc).
I
would point out that the company's option might have been limited by a
dual-edge provision of the H1-B visa program that Dennis (and other have
pointed out).  As I understand it, when you bring in a H1-B worker, you
must do so on a contract basis for a specific period of time (not to
exceed 2 years at a time, I believe) for a pre-agreed upon amount of
money
(that is supposed to match what you would be paying an American worker
for
the same work).  Thus, if you must "lay off" the H1-B worker, then you
still owe them the FULL amount of the contract even if they were only
there for a month with contract to last for 2 years.  Thus, it may have
been cheaper to layoff the American workers, which is a common rationale
for companies to use many times (i.e. how many times do the more
experienced, higher paid workers who may have been with the company for
a
longer period of time get laid off before the less experienced, lower
paid
workers?  Such is the way of the world in our country now...gone are the
days of working for one company for your entire life...at least in most
cases.  But, then companies pay their own price for this change...many
employees no longer have much loyalty to their companies as their
companies don't have much loyalty to them).

I consider this aspect of the H1-B visa a good thing and a bad thing.
It
is in place (with hope) to insure that companies don't just hire some
H1-B
worker at some low pay that can be dumped at a moment's notice (and
thus,
in essence abusing some foreign, immigrant worker).  This is good in my
mind.  On the other hand, it can create situations that make American
workers more expendable if the work suddenly disappears because it is
cheaper to lay them off.

But, such is true of many things in life...many things have good and bad
aspects to them.  This is something that idealist from both the extreme
Left and Right seem to conveniently ignore or look past (and I am not
saying that this is you...just a general observation/comment).

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Mon, 10 Nov 2003, Gerard Madden, SE wrote:

> David's Fisher's 1 time use of an H1-B visa is totally appropriate
from
> my point of view. If he had several employees with this status or even
1
> with a low salary, then I would think differently, especially in
today's
> economy.
>
> My experience with H1-B visa employees came at the last two places I
> worked for before going into business for myself. The first experience
> was when I worked in San Francisco for a premier firm with extremely
> large developments on their resume. They had done high rise structures
> in California, Indonesia, and China. When I first started (about Dec
of
> 2000), there were several foreign born engineers working there
> (including myself). I'd venture to guess that maybe half of them were
> citizens. About two months after I began working there, they hired an
> H1-B engineer from Eastern Europe. He sat next to me and I helped him
> adjust to the new code and the transition to imperial units. He had a
> PHD and spoke very good English. He turned out to be one of the
smartest
> individuals I've ever met. He was an extremely fast learner, hard
> worker, and became a good friend. About 6 months later, we started to
> notice that some of our huge projects were being put back in the
shelf.
> A few engineers were laid off. Then about 3 months later, more
engineers
> were laid off. Then another 3 months later, I left due to personal
> reasons (long commute and fear of getting laid off soon). But my H1-B
> friend was never laid off and he continues to work there. Based on job
> performance, skill, and talent I have no doubt that he rightfully
> deserves his current position. Yet, several people, who were American
> citizens, were laid off who probably could have done his job, but
maybe
> not as well or as cheaply (I say this because they were licensed SE &
> PE's while he was not (although now he is a PE).
>
> At my new job, I was a "manager type" overseeing 5 design engineers. 2
> of them were H1-B visas... long story short, my boss couldn't bring in
> enough steady work for all of us and axed the 2 H1-b engineers, a
senior
> engineer, and myself. Keeping only his two non-licensed EIT's, his
> sister (the drafter), and his son (the IT guy). Here, although I was
> pissed off, I think my boss acted appropriately by also letting go the
> H1-B engineers (who were extremely poor engineers) as well as his
> "high-priced talented manager"... yet his nepotism was troubling to me
> (his sister was a horribly inefficient draftsperson).
>
> So, the dilemma, that I think David has expressed, is when you find a
> diamond in the rough (like my friend), how do you let them go from a
> productivity/quality point of view, when the American talent is not
> quite as good yet they are a permanent resident?
>
> If it is wage busting, then it's wrong. If the compensation is
> equivalent, what is someone like David or my former company to do? Our
> economy went from backlogs of work for two years to "yeah, I'll design
> your outhouse for you" so suddenly, that it made for some unfortunate
> choices to have to be made.
> Luckily for me, It was a blessing in disguise to be laid off.
>
> Let's also remember how many of our colleagues are not from this
country
> as we try to keep a level headed view of the situation. How many of
your
> co-workers, peers, professors, plan checkers, and mentors were from
> other countries?? For me, a lot... Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese,
and
> Russian to name a few for me. To those men and women, I am grateful to
> have known them, worked with them, and learned from them.
>
>
> -gerard
> From Belfast, Northern Ireland and an American Citizen.
>
>
>
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