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Monday, November 14, 2016

Investigation Reveals Silicon Valley’s Abuse of Immigrant Tech Workers

Though this story of labor abuse was revealed in the press, around two years ago, it is not very clear if changes have been implemented to correct corporate behavior when it comes to exploitation of the workforce. Without a doubt, the availability of cheap and easily exploitable alternative workforce, permitted  high tech companies to play loose with their domestic workforce. With such exploitation opportunities at their disposal, companies chose to eliminate local workers who's salary levels were maintained at a relatively high level due to high demand and competition among employers. This is not exactly the level playing field that made the American economy so great in the past. If slavery is good for capitalism then perhaps we should all vote to be ruled by the "0.1%" oligarch class.

Intel Corp. laid off more than 1500 employees in 2015, and shed about 6,800 during 2016, with an intention to lay off 12,000 employees by mid 2017. While the layoffs were taking place, Intel Corp. continued to hire employees at a lower compensation level. The company also employed the services of "job shops" of the kind mentioned in the articles listed in the reference section below. This is in addition to thousands of H1B visa applications that the company continued to apply for.

I have a first person experience being involved in an Intel project that employed the services of Wipro Corp. to exploit a group of Indian software developers. I saw in my own eyes how they were forced to work 12-hour days, six days a week and report tremendous number of overtime hours to retain the bonus of their supervisor, who was a ruthless slave trader. Six of these individuals shared a small apartment during their stay and they earned a meager income compared to their American coworkers salaries. Most of these workers were severely demoralized and their productivity suffered as a result of the conditions under which they operated. Consequently, the project that they worked on was late by 18 months and was eventually cancelled. This resulted in multi-million dollar loss for Intel Corp. besides the opportunity loss incurred due missing the window of market opportunity.

If you are concerned about this phenomenon of highly skilled American Workers being displaced from good paying jobs through exploitation of imported foreign workers, then convey your concerns to your elected representatives in Congress.

Top executives of high tech corporations are not on your side. They belong to the 1-percent class and for the last 30 years they voted with their feet to insulate their economic reality from you and me.

NBC Bay Area:

--Dr. Flywheel

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