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Americans get on Net to protest outsourcing
BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi | June 13, 2003 12:18 IST
"We are not racists, xenophobes or bigots. We are displaced American workers. Displaced by a little known immigration visa, approved by the Congress at the request of large US corporations."
If you think this is a 70s' trade union leader breathing fire and brimstone, think again. This is the voice of displaced American infotech professionals on the Internet.
At least half a dozen websites condemning outsourcing of infotech jobs to India have come up of late.
Prominent among them are www.h1bprotest.com, www.hannatroup.com, www.hireamericancitizens.org, www.h1bvisasucks.com and www.zazona.com.
Apart from playing on American nationalism, most of these websites use pictures and stories about children of American infotech professionals who have lost their jobs.
At least two of these websites -- www.h1bprotest.com and www.hannatroup.com -- claim to be made from 100 per cent American labour.
These websites give detailed descriptions of how people have lost jobs to cheaper Indian infotech professionals and how Indian companies are using L1 visas to transfer people on job to the US.
According to the website www. h1bprotest.com, "The H-1B and L-1 visas are used to import cheap foreign labour to replace American workers. The replacement started with US computer programmers and engineers and has spread to various professions like nursing, teaching and truck driving. Basically, any decent paying job is now a target of large corporations and government institutions."
The front page of www.hireamericancitizens.org while suggesting that America's best paying jobs should be held by American citizens, says: "The US Congress sold our high-tech jobs to foreigners and industry lobbyists. Companies continue to import foreigners while laying off Americans."
Another website, www. www.zazona.com, points out that in 2001, nine of every 10 new job openings in the infotech sector were taken by professionals with H-1B visas, and despite record unemployment, the INS issued 312,000 visas in 2002.
Some of the sites also allege that Indian employees and firms involved in outsourcing are evading taxes and these companies use non-work permits to get access to the US and work on various infotech projects.
One website goes a step ahead and says: "Foreigners are being used as slave labour in our great country, bringing shame and dishonor to us."