Fossil Fires American Tech Workers, Imports Cheap Foreign Labor

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Yet another American business, this time Fossil Group, has fired most of its tech workers to make way for cheaper foreign replacements.

“We’re doing what we think is the right thing for Fossil,” CIO Ed Robben told The Dallas Morning News, saying the move will help the company cut costs and invest in other areas.

To keep their severance packages, the fired employees will have to train their foreign replacements in videotaped “knowledge transfer sessions,” which the Indian firm charged with replacing them, Infosys, will use to train its workers in other countries.

Infosys will handle Fossil’s tech needs by stationing a few workers at Fossil locations, but will outsource most of the work to countries, such as India, China, the Philippines and the Czech Republic. (RELATED: Zuckerberg Ally On Americans Losing Jobs To Foreigners: ‘This Is What This Whole Country Is Built On’)

Fossil refused to disclose how many tech workers it fired, but one ex-employee said about 100 were fired, while another said 200. Both spoke to The Dallas Morning News on condition of anonymity.

Infosys is one of the largest users of temporary work visas, H-1Bs, which allow businesses to replace American workers with relatively inexpensive foreign workers. (RELATED: Where Cruz Stands With Rubio Against Walker On Immigration)

The Department of Labor recently refused a request from a bipartisan group of senators to investigate alleged H-1B abuses by companies such as Southern California Edison, which reportedly fired hundreds of tech workers and forced them to train their foreign replacements.

Disney also fired more than a hundred tech workers in what it called a “restructuring move,” but which angry ex-employees say is actually a move to cut costs by replacing them with cheaper foreigners.

“Though such reports of H-1B-driven layoffs have been circulating for years, their frequency seems to have increased dramatically in the past year alone,” the senators wrote in the letter, asking the Obama administration to figure out whether SCE broke the law. (RELATED: Senators Ask Feds To Investigate Guest Worker Visa Abuse)

Some of those workers are now suing the Department of Homeland Security for unilaterally announcing an expansion of the H-1B program to include the spouses of guest workers. The workers say DHS is overstepping its bounds the rule violates federal labor protection laws.

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