Another displaced IT worker came forward Tuesday to talk about being laid off and replaced with a foreign worker likely in the country temporarily on an H-1B visa.
“We were notified that we were going to be outsourced — never really got a good explanation of what the reason was,” the Abbott Laboratories employee told Laura Ingraham on her radio show. “Just tidbits here and there, mostly due to cost savings.”
The global healthcare giant is laying off 180 IT workers after signing a contract with an India-based IT services firm. The employee, who wished to remain anonymous for legal reasons, was recently told he would be out of a job as of April 22.
“My prospects for the future aren’t very bright, with the trend going on with all companies doing this, the age that I have,” he said. “There’s not too many places where I can go, and it’s very hard to compete when it’s not a level playing field in this game called globalization. There’s no way I can compete with someone outside the country.”
Disney, Southern California Edison and other companies across the country have similarly laid off IT workers and replaced them with foreign workers, often on H-1B visas. Businesses consistently lobby for access to more of these guest workers on the grounds there is a shortage of American tech workers, although in many cases American workers report being forced to train their foreign replacement.
“I’ve been in the IT field my entire life,” the employee told Ingraham, saying he had worked his way up for Abbott as a contractor to full-time employee.
The issue has worked its way into the 2016 presidential primary, particularly in the GOP race. Front-runner Donald Trump has promised to cut down the H-1B program as part of his immigration policy platform, although he’s contradicted his platform in debates and on Twitter.
“I’ve heard it all before,” the employee told Ingraham, when asked about the candidates promising to fix the H-1B problem. “Who knows what’s going to happen once they enter office. Are they going to do anything about it, or is it just for votes?”
“I have no idea,” he continued. “My trust level in government right now is pretty low.”
Trump’s biggest rivals, Sens. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] and [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore], have both advocated for a dramatic expansion of the program as part of the 2013 “Gang of 8” immigration bill, although Cruz has since reversed his position. Rubio is sponsoring a bill called I-Squared that would triple business access to H-1Bs.
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