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Re: more people who aren't going to take it anymore

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For all you  H-1B,  offshoring  propagandists:


I pass along the following newsletter of Professor  Norman Matloff- - University of   California  @    Davis

Bob Johnson

=======================================



To: age discrimination/H-1B/L-1 e-newsletter

I've been saying for years that techies tend to be reticent people who
are loathe to speak out and become activists.
 (Not to mention the fact
that they are exceedingly trusting of Congress and government to "do the
right thing," to many people's surprise.) Yet recently a number of them
have come out of the woodwork, as the enclosed article shows.

See also tonight's broadcast of the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer.  You
can hear the audio portion at

http://audio.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/newshour/expansion/2003/12/16/spam.rm?altplay=spam.rm

The segment on offshoring features a couple, Steve and Judy Adelstein,
both in the high-tech field, and both victims of offshoring.  Mrs.
Adelstein is trying to start an "IT Workers Union," by e-mail exchange,
and from what I saw on the show, she's definitely got the dynamic
personality to do it.  It seems that she's unaware of the other
organizations which have been active, though.  It was very touching when
Mr. Adelstein stated he had been reduced to working as a K-Mart stock
clerk for $8.50/hr on the graveyard shift, and the interviewer asked if
he was embarrassed about it.

Comments on the enclosed article:

  Last month, presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.,
  introduced a bill that would require companies to inform people who
  phone offshore call centers about where the workers are located.

What good would that do?  How many people will forego, say, fixing an
error in their utility bill, just so that they can "boycott" the foreign
call center, on principle?  Not many.  And even fewer would complain.
And as time went on, and people became accustomed to it...well, you see
my problem with this kind of bill.

  In Colorado, HireAmericanCitizens.org is working to draft legislation
  to keep offshoring companies from getting state contracts.

  Despite the national momentum, Armstrong may fight an uphill battle
  in the Centennial State.

  "I can be pretty sure that nothing would ever pass here," said state
  Rep.  Jack Pommer, a Democrat from Boulder.

  "We're a pretty conservative state. In general, we believe in letting
  companies do whatever they need to stay competitive and profitable,"
  he said.

  Armstrong said that if he can't find a legislator to introduce the
  legislation, he will make it a ballot issue and let Colorado voters
  decide.

If Pommer really thinks that the "conservative" populace of Colorado
wants to let the state government offshore its contracts, then Pommer
ought to put it on the state ballot.  He'd find out just how
"conservative" the people are.  Hopefully Armstrong will do it for him.

Norm

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E33%257E1828034,00.html

Article Published: Sunday, December 14, 2003  
Jobs exiled from U.S. give rise to activism
Grassroots campaign presses Congress to act

By Jennifer Alsever
Beauprez Denver Post Business Writer

Richard Armstrong has a loud mouth, and he couldn't be happier about it.

A Denver computer programmer, Armstrong has been laid off three times and
each time replaced by foreign workers.

Outraged that U.S. companies move more jobs and then create them in such
countries as India and China, Armstrong started organizing.

Now, 100,000 people are writing members of Congress, urging them to do
something to stem the tide of exported jobs.

"I feel like it's finally working," said Armstrong, who relies on e-mail and
his website, HireAmericanCitizens.org, to recruit members and partner with 30
other similar organizations.

In just a few months, a grassroots movement fueled by thousands of unemployed
American workers has gained huge political momentum.

Beating the drum of a jobless economic recovery, they've turned the issue
of "offshoring" into a political hot button in statehouses, Congress and in
the upcoming presidential election.

Unlike car manufacturing of the 1970s, the latest round of job exports is not
just a blue-collar problem. These are white-collar jobs, and those educated
and articulate workers know how to organize and tend to vote.

"These are information jobs we were supposed to be keeping after
manufacturing jobs went," said Candice Johnson, a spokeswoman for the
Communications Workers of America. "It causes people to wonder what jobs will
be left."

Corporate executives, meanwhile, fear the stumping by politicians will lead
to knee-jerk protectionist legislation penalizing companies that use offshore
workers.

Such laws, critics say, would interfere with global economics and could
ultimately harm U.S. businesses' ability to compete globally. And the
policies could run afoul of World Trade Organization principles and rules,
said Michael Turner, president of the Information Policy Institute, a New
York-based research organization that held a conference in Washington on the
topic last week.

"Companies are very concerned that election-year politics will seize control
and shape this debate," said Jeff Lande, spokesman for the Information
Technology Association of America. His group is lobbying Congress
aggressively on the issue for such companies as Microsoft Corp. and IBM, both
of which use offshore workers.

Yet the topic is indeed becoming political, both in Congress and at the state
level:

Last month, presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., introduced
a bill that would require companies to inform people who phone offshore call
centers about where the workers are located.

One provision of the proposed federal budget for 2004 would bar any existing
federal work from going offshore.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has asked the CIA to study the
national security implications of offshoring.

Two studies are underway at the General Accounting Office to study the
implications of offshore work on U.S. employment.

Eleven states are reviewing legislation that either mimics Kerry's federal
Consumer Right to Know bill or bans companies from state contracts if they
use offshore work.

In Colorado, HireAmericanCitizens.org is working to draft legislation to keep
offshoring companies from getting state contracts.

Despite the national momentum, Armstrong may fight an uphill battle in the
Centennial State.

"I can be pretty sure that nothing would ever pass here," said state Rep.
Jack Pommer, a Democrat from Boulder.

"We're a pretty conservative state. In general, we believe in letting
companies do whatever they need to stay competitive and profitable," he said.

Armstrong said that if he can't find a legislator to introduce the
legislation, he will make it a ballot issue and let Colorado voters decide.

Business executives, however, argue they can't compete, let alone keep their
companies alive, if they hire U.S. workers to staff call centers and develop
software when their competitors hire foreigners at a fraction of the cost.

Annual salary for an Indian IT worker, for instance, would cost $9,800
compared with up to $80,000 for a U.S. worker.

Turner of the Information Policy Institute said Congress should make America
more attractive to companies by reforming the tax code and tort system,
because the costs of lawsuits are so high it's better for many companies to
go offshore.

Armstrong, on the other hand, believes the government should change or ax the
H-1B and L-1 temporary worker visa programs that he says are abused by
companies and ultimately used to send more jobs overseas. Companies have
hired foreigners on H-1B visas, trained them and sent them back to their
homeland to run offshore operations.

At the very least, Armstrong said, the number of visas given to foreigners
should be tied to the unemployment rate.

"I think we should make it taste bad for companies to go offshore," he
said. "I think we're getting the message out."