What would you think if a company fired hundreds of employees to bring in temporary guest workers to do their jobs, at a lower salary?
That's exactly what's been happening at our neighbors at Southern California Edison. There's a huge guest worker program called H1B, and it's being used to replace American IT workers with foreign IT workers.
Even worse, they're not going to be immigrants - the company basically controls their visa status, so they will have a lot more control over these new workers.
The way H1B is sold, by companies like Facebook and Microsoft, is that the industry is facing a shortage of local talent, and we need to allow more people to come here to work. While that might be true at tech leaders like Facebook and Microsoft, it's obviously NOT the case at Southern California Edison.
Edison had the local talent - and I bet that some of the local talent was living right in Rosemead.
This isn't fair. It's not fair to the people who were laid off, and it's not fair to the families in Rosemead and surrounding communities like Monterey Park, San Gabriel, El Monte, Montebello, and South El Monte, Pico Rivera, and Alhambra. Until very recently, these were working class and middle class communities, where many people have a laboring background. Many families were or are blue collar or pink collar. I went to school with kids whose parents didn't even finish high school. Many more were the first to attend college (like myself).
These technical jobs are the leg up into the upper half of the middle class for thousands of families in the region.
Evidently, though, the billionaires who buy up the sellout politicians this country don't like the idea of someone with technical skills making over $80,000 a year.
Shame on Edison, which has been granted a PUBLIC MONOPOLY on residential power, for screwing over the community.
Here's info about the Senate hearing about H1B, with testimony by laid-off Edison (former) workers:
Fusion - they tie it in with the FWD.US front group. Yes, it's pushing for the undocumented kids who have been here for years, but it's a front group for H1B. Wonder if any of the undocumented kids were hoping to get a high-tech job?
Breitbart - names some names.
Norm Matloff on a CWA blog (he's not CWA).
Norm Matloff - on age discrimination.
Breitbart - Darrel Issa, an obnoxious H1B cheerleader, suddenly changes his tune.
Video footage of the hearing.
IBEW 47 rallies in support
Now, here's an unfortunate fact, especially for Asian Americans. Two of the supporters of H1B are Judy Chu and Ted Lieu. They are generally good on labor issues, and on Asian issues, but when they support H1B expansion, they are sacrificing the livelihoods of Asian Americans here today, to get new, potential Asian Americans in the future. But that future is far from guaranteed, because these are guest workers on a work visa. They don't get green cards. Even if they apply to get green cards, they won't get them for at least five years, and really more like ten years.
It's a stupid political calculus.
The corporate money talks, and these high-tech Democrats are quick to go back on their pro-worker words and throw their fellow Asian Americans under the bus.
Let's not even get into the fact that Black and Latino people are severely underrepresented in tech companies, particularly in the technical departments.
It's a bipartisan issue on both sides. And the side with the money is winning - and using that power to take money away from American workers.