Scores Of IT Workers Laid Off, Forced To Train Foreign Replacements

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Another business is laying off American tech workers and forcing them to train their foreign replacements, joining the ranks of Southern California Edison, Disney, Fossil Group and Catalina Marketing.

Cengage Learning, a multinational education content producer, told 75 of its tech workers in October they would be out of their jobs in January, reported Computer World. In the meantime they’re training their foreign replacements, and if Cengage finds out they’re talking to the media they’ll lose their severance pay.

“I was so furious,” one of the laid off workers told Computer World.

Those laid off are now being shadowed and recorded for training purposes by their replacements working for the contractor, Cognizant, which appear to be foreigners on work visas. Cognizant is a top user of the H-1B visa, according to government data cited by Computer World, although the laid off workers did not know whether their replacements were on H-1B visas.

Some of the jobs have apparently been outsourced to India.

“I think it’s what’s killing the American economy,” one of the laid off workers told Computer World. “The middle class jobs are going away.” (RELATED: Laid Off Disney Worker Heads To The Hill To Dispel H-1B Myths)

Cengage conceded it laid off 75 workers in a statement to Computer World and transferred 20 employees over to Cognizant, describing it as a “very difficult decision” made because of a need for “a more flexible staffing model” in what is an “evolving” business.

Southern California Edison, DisneyFossil GroupCatalina Marketing and others have reportedly laid off hundreds of tech workers in the past year, replacing them with foreign workers on H-1B visas hired by contractors. (RELATED: Rubio’s I-Squared Bill Doesn’t Include Worker Protections He Says He Supports)

The stated intent of the visa program is to help companies bring in high-skilled foreign workers for jobs Americans can’t fill. But these companies and others are allegedly using it to cut labor costs. The Obama administration is investigating the alleged abuses. (RELATED: Feds Expand Investigation Of H-1b Abuses As Calls For Action Intensify)

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