Skip to main content

View Diary: Don't Worry "Papa John": We Understand (191 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  A higher-end version of PJ's labor practices (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citylights, elwior, RDemocrat

    appears to be coming the way of hi-tech US firms via the immigration bill:

    Originally published January 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM
    Senate’s H-1B visa proposal goes far beyond Microsoft’s

    A bipartisan Senate plan to dramatically expand a visa program for highly skilled foreign workers resembles a proposal unveiled by Microsoft last fall, but well exceeds the company’s own goals.

    By Kyung M. Song
    Seattle Times Washington bureau

     WASHINGTON — A bipartisan Senate plan to dramatically expand a visa program for highly skilled foreign workers resembles a proposal unveiled by Microsoft last fall, but well exceeds the company’s own goals.

    Led by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, five Republicans and five Democrats rolled out the Immigration Innovation Act on Tuesday to lift the annual quota of H-1B visas for those workers from 65,000 to 115,000. That new cap would grow each year if demand outstrips supply, potentially up to 300,000 visas annually.

    In addition, the bill calls for doing away with a separate cap of 20,000 visas for foreigners with graduate degrees from U.S. universities. It also would allow spouses of H-1B visa holders to hold jobs for the first time, and reserve unused green cards for permanent residency for foreigners with technology- and science-related skills.

    The bill would charge employers an extra $1,000 for each visa and use the money to bolster so-called STEM education — science, technology, engineering and math — for American students.

    Taken together, the provisions largely mirror a blueprint laid out earlier by Microsoft. The Redmond company and others in the technology field seek to liberalize rules to import more workers to fill vacancies for which they say they lack qualified Americans.

    We've been hearing this same nonsense for over 20 years, that due to a lack of qualified US tech workers, US tech firms have to import them from overseas. Even if this is technically true (no pun intended), it's only because we don't invest enough in technical education in the US, not just in primary and high schools and universities, but in worker retraining.

    There are thousands and thousands of really bright, well-educated, highly motivated, hard-working US workers in the prime of their working years who would be excellent candidates for technical retraining, but who for various reasons we don't want to retrain, whether it's because no one wants to spend the money for it, or because they're likely to require higher levels of pay and benefits than foreign workers once hired, or because they're seen as likely to be more "difficult" than foreign workers (meaning, being citizens or having permanent resident status, they're more likely to stand up for their rights and demand better working conditions and be freer to quit for better jobs).

    Whether at the high or low and end at every point in-between, we're screwing the American worker, in the name of higher profits and tighter control. And I bet that a lot of people who would make excellent tech workers if they got the proper training end up being forced to work at a low-end, dead-end job like PJ's--yet another way that a lack of investment in retraining works out nicely for shitholes like Schnatter, while the rest of the country goes to hell.

    Leading Dems are supporting this POS legislation, btw, like Amy Klobuchar. I have zero doubt that behind the scenes Obama supports it too.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:01:41 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site