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Tuesday November 30, 2004

National Tour of Indian Trade Unionist comes to Boston

This from Jobs with Justice

Join Jobs with Justice in three events to build worker solidarity around the world!

National Tour of Indian Trade Unionist comes to Boston!

"Outsourcing and our communities: A dialogue with Indian Trade
Thursday, December 2
Harvard University, 125 Mt. Auburn Street, 3rd Fl. (Behind
Harvard Sq. Post Office) in Cambridge, MA from
4:00-6:00 PM.
Thousands of jobs are being outsourced to lower-wage countries
like India. How should workers and communities respond? Come
meet Indian labor leaders to discuss our mutual interests in
fighting together to defend good jobs and fair labor standards.
Speakers will include:

  • Ashim Roy, President of union representing General Electric
    workers in Gujarat state.
  • V. Chandra, Organizing Secretary of a union representing 50,000
    miners who has worked in the coal industry for 25 years.
  • Anannya Bhattacharjee, coordinator of an international
    collaboration between Jobs with Justice and India's New Trade
    Union Initiative.

The tour is sponsored by Jobs with Justice and India's New Trade Union Initiative. The New Trade Union Initiative is a democratizing force within the Indian labor movement, independent of any political party. It is playing a leading role in the larger social movements that are now burgeoning in India.
The goal of the tour is to develop grassroots strategies to force global corporations to respect workers' rights and to help build international solidarity between U.S. and Indian workers to fight for good jobs and fair labor standards. Jobs with Justice is a national campaign for workers' rights with over 40 local coalitions that unite labor unions, community groups, faith-based organizations and students to promote economic and social justice for all working people.

07:29 pm
Tuesday November 30, 2004
posted by gmminks

Saturday November 27, 2004

Didn't Romney promise to attract businesses to the Bay State

He sure is having a hard time making good on his promise.

The Globe is reporting that "Massachusetts lost 121 software companies and 3,859 software-related jobs during the past year".

11:29 am
Saturday November 27, 2004
posted by gmminks

Wednesday November 24, 2004

Senator Jack Hart Needs Co-Sponsors

To: People and Organizations and Unions Concerned with Outsourcing
From: Lew Finfer, Organizing and Leadership Training Center
Re: Your help needed to find state legislators to be co-sponsors of a Bill to be filed to limit outsourcing of work performed by private corporations on state contracts

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Legislature passed as part of the state budget an amendment sponsored by Senator Jack Hart (D-Boston) to stop private companies who receive contracts to perform work for the state from outsourcing any of the work abroad. Unfortunately, Governor Romney vetoed this provision and then Speaker Finneran did not allow an override of that veto.

We are going into another year and Senator Hart is very willing to fight for this again. He will be filing legislation to accomplish this as well as using the state budget process again. Also, there is a new House Speaker so there may be more support from Speaker DiMasi on this than there was from Speaker Finneran.

How you can help?

1. Contact your own state representative and state senator (you can reach them through this main number at the State House (617) 722-2000 and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation that Senator Hart will be sponsoring.

**They can be a co-sponsor of the bill by just calling over to Senator Hart's office at (617) 722-1150 and speaking to his Chief of Staff, Rosemarie Powers, and saying they want to be a co-sponsor of the legislation.
They must do this before the deadline for filing legislation which is Wednesday December 1 around 4:00 PM. Senator Hart's office number is (617) 722-1150 and Rosemary Power's email is

2. Please send your own email with this information to individuals and organizations who might be interested in this legislation and help in getting their state representatives or state senators to be co-sponsors of the bill.

Text of Bill

An Act Relative to Privatizaton Contracts

The first paragraph of section 54 of chapter 7 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after paragraph (1) the following paragraph:-
The agency shall prepare a written statement that the services proposed to be the subject of the privatization contract shall not be performed outside the territorial limits of the Unisted States. A privatization contract and a subsequent agreement, including an agreement resulting from a rebidding of previously privatized service or an agreement renewing or extending a privatization contract shall include:
(a) a provision prohibiting the person awarded the contract from performing any portion of the services proposed to be the subject of the privatization contract outside the territorial limits of the United State;

(b) a provision prohibiting the person awarded the contract from entering into a subcontract with any person that will perform any portion of the services proposed to be the subject of the privatization contract outside the territorial limits of the United States.

01:05 pm
Wednesday November 24, 2004
posted by gmminks

Dell Hiring

in India

According to Dell's VP and GM of South Asia, Paul Henri Ferrand:

"We are also starting to grow our professional services and we have a full-blown structure in India"

10:27 am

posted by gmminks

The New H-1B and L-1 Legislation

So, as all of you have heard by now, Congress attached legislation to the Omnibus Spending bill that changes certain things about H-1B and L-1 visas.

Now there was alot of bitching when people started to realize that Congress was not changing things exactly as we as techies wanted. Maybe this was the first glimpse some people had of our government making sausage.

I think it's time to look at what the legislation will do for US techies, and how we can prepare to use the new rules in the future.

The New L-1 Rules

  • L-1 visa workers cannot be farmed out to other businesses to provide services and be supervised by the other business, or if "the placement of the alien at the worksite of the unaffiliated employer is essentially an arrangement to provide labor for hire for the unaffiliated employer".

    That's right, no more of Infosys and Tata bringing over entry level programmers. It's not allowed anymore.

    And this new rule is to be applied "to petitions filed on or after the effective date of this [legislation], whether for initial, extended, or amended classification."

    Now, will these bodyshops try and get around these rules, maybe by saying that only their employees have knowledge of their software and operating systems? Of course. This will be one of the things that we have to make sausage with next year.

  • The L-1 visa holder has to be working at the company for a year (instead of six months)

  • Homeland Security is charged with collecting data on the visaholders.

  • No later than six months after the legislation is signed, the Inspector General has to bring a report back to Congress on the "n the vulnerabilities and potential abuses in the visa program".

    This is an area for action. There will be an L Visa Interagency Task Force that collects data.

06:24 am

posted by gmminks

Cingular Wireless to lay off 68,000

They have merged with AT&T Wireless. They claim the cuts will come administrative ranks.

Guess who has outsourced alot of their back office administrative work?

06:07 am

posted by gmminks

Saturday November 20, 2004


The battle against the H1-B increase continues through the weekend.

Based on movement on Capitol Hill, the lawmakers below are the ones who need to be called right
now to ask that the H1-B increase be kept out of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Please drop
everything and phone ASAP! Especially if you are from the states in question. And pass it on.

Remember you can always call the House toll-free at 1-800-648-3516 & the Senate at 1-877-762-8762. They work late, so call in the evening if you must, though sooner is better.

Ian Fletcher
VP, Gov't Relations
American Engineering Association
910 16th St NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006


ARLEN SPECTER - 202-224-4254 Senate

John E. Peterson, PA (R) - 202-225-5121 House

Don Sherwood, PA (R) - 202-225-3731 House

John P. Murtha, PA (D) - 202-225-2065 House

Rhode Island

Patrick J. Kennedy, RI (D) - 202-225-4911 House

South Carolina

ERNEST F. HOLLINGS - 202-224-6121 Senate

James E. Clyburn, SC (D) - 202-225-3315 House

South Dakota

TIM JOHNSON - 202-224-5842 House


Zach Wamp, TN (R) - 202-225-3271 House


KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON - 202-224-5922 Senate

Henry Bonilla, TX (R) - 202-225-4511 House

Chet Edwards, TX (D) - 202-225-6105 House

Kay Granger, TX (R) - 202-225-5071 House

John Abney Culberson, TX (R) - 202-225-2571 House


ROBERT F. BENNETT - 202-224-5444 Senate


PATRICK J. LEAHY - 202-224-4242 Senate


James P. Moran, VA (D) - 202-225-4376 House

Frank R. Wolf, VA (R) - 202-225-5136 House

Virgil Goode, VA (R) - 202-225-4711 House


Norman D. Dicks, WA (D) - 202-225-5916 House


PATTY MURRAY - 202-224-2621 Senate

George R. Nethercutt, Jr., WA (R) - 202-225-2006 House


HERB KOHL - 202-224-5653 Senate

David R. Obey, WI (D - Ranking Member) - 202-225-3365 House
09:37 am
Saturday November 20, 2004
posted by gmminks

Friday November 19, 2004

Please Keep Calling on the H-1B increase

This is promising news from the ITPAA. Please keep calling.

Keep Calling! It's Working!
Posted by admin on Friday, November 19 @ 09:59:30 CST (23 reads)

From Ian Fletcher:

The good news is that we've picked up from the enemy's (American Immigration Lawyers Association) listserv that the H1-B expansion we're fighting has indeed been placed in doubt by all your phone calls.

The bad news is this doesn't mean we've won yet. Keep the phone calls to the senators coming. It doesn't matter if you've called before: call again. Get friends, family, parents to call.


Call toll free at 1-877-762-8762 and ask for one of the following senators. Tell them to keep H1-B expansion out of the omnibus spending bill. You don't need to talk to their aide very long, so be brief and hit all the senators. A "*" denotes a senator who might be on our side based on his or her past voting record.

TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania
* JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire

* ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia, Ranking
* ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
* HARRY REID, Nevada
* HERB KOHL, Wisconsin
PATTY MURRAY, Washington
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
* TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota

They work late, so call in the evening if you must, and pass this message on. If you need details on why H1-B is bad, see here

12:28 pm
Friday November 19, 2004
posted by rickrob

Tuesday November 16, 2004

Please call now to protect American jobs

If you want to stop Congress from giving away our jobs, then please call now.

These Five GOP leaders have the power to prevent the H-1B loophole. Please call their offices now-- And keep calling.

The cheap labor lobby is trying to push an H-1B increase through on the Omnibus Spending bill. This increase will allow foreign graduate degree holders to take our jobs. Call them and express your opposition. Tell them you'll hold them accountable for their actions.

Speaker of House Dennis Hastert

2369 RHOB
Washington, DC 20515

27 North River Street
Batavia, IL 605102666

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist

202-224-3344 SR-416 Washington, DC 20510

423-323-1252 10368 Wallace Alley Street - Suite 7 Kingsport, TN 37663

865-602-7977 12 Oaks Executive Park Knoxville, TN 37919

901-683-1910 5100 Popular Avenue - Suite 605 Memphis, TN 38137

423-894-2203 6000 Building Chattanooga, TN 37411

615-352-9411 28 White Bridge Road - Suite 211 Nashville, TN 37205

901-424-9655 South Royal Depot Building Jackson, TN 38301

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell

202-224-2541 SR-361a Washington, DC 20510

502-781-1673 Federal Building Bowling Green, KY 42101

502-582-6304 601 West Broadway - Room 630 Louisville, KY 40202

859-224-8286 343 Waller Avenue - Room 108 Lexington, KY 40504

606-864-2026 301 South Main Street London, KY 40741

606-578-0188 1885 Dixie Higyway - Suite 345 Fort Wright, KY 41011

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

281-240-3700 10701 Corporate Drive, Suite 118 Stafford, TX 77477

202-225-5951 2370 RHOB Washington, DC 20515

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt

202-225-6536 217 CHOB Washington, DC 20515

417-781-1041 Northpark Mall, 101 Rangeline Joplin, MO 64801

417-889-1800 2740-B East Sunshine Springfield, MO 65804-2047

From Numbers USA...

Georgians, phone your Sen. Chambliss who is champion of this H-1B loophole

Sen. Saxby Chambliss is reported to us as being the prime mover of this terrible affront to the families of American technical workers.

He needs to hear overwhelming disapproval from his Georgia constituents (based on arguments above). He arrived in the Senate saying that the H-1B program was corrupt and needed reforming. Instead, he now is making the corruption worse.

Sen. Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)

478-476-0788 6501 Peake Road Macon, GA 31210
202-224-3521 SR - 416 Washington, DC 20515

770-763-9090 100 Galleria Parkway Atlanta, GA 30339

229-985-2112 419-A South Main Street Moultrie, GO 31776

706-738-0302 1058 Claussen Road Augusta, GA 30907

Texans, phone Rep. Lamar Smith who originally introduced this loophole in the House

I'm told by our Capitol Hill team that the congressional office of Rep. Smith (R-TX) has been in the thick of pushing this H-1B loophole. Mr. Smith has long been one of the most important leaders in Congress for sensible immigration policies, but he appears to ahve badly misstepped on this. His staff needs to hear what Texans think about this H-1B expansion in the midst of a depression in the tech field.

Smith, Lamar

830-895-1414 1006 Junction Highway Kerrville, TX 78028

202-225-4236 2231 RHOB Washington, DC 20515

512-931-3500 904 South Main Street Georgetown, TX 78626

915-687-5232 4305 North Garfield, Suite 228-B M915-653-3971 33 East Twohig Street, Suite 302 San Angelo, TX 76903

210-821-5024 1100 North East Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209

09:21 pm
Tuesday November 16, 2004
posted by rickrob

Monday November 15, 2004

Microsoft is Hiring (In India)

OK. You use our tools, and we'll ship you the jobs... Market penetration and cheap labor all wrapped up in a nice package.

The story is here.

BANGALORE, India (AP) - Software giant Microsoft Corp. signed software partnerships Monday with India's leading outsourcing firms, Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Wipro Ltd., and stepped up plans to hire more programmers in India.

The deals will enable Infosys and Wipro to use Microsoft technologies to build software for their clients.

Infosys and Microsoft said they would together invest $8 million in the new venture, while Wipro, which also concluded a similar deal, declined to specify the investment.

"I am excited with what is going on here in India,'' Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told reporters after signing the deals.

Ballmer said Microsoft will hire hundreds more people in India in the coming months, but didn't give more specific figures.

Earlier Monday, Ballmer opened a Microsoft office in Hyderabad, 340 miles north of Bangalore, India's leading high-tech hub. About 1,500 Microsoft employees, mostly software programmers, have worked out of a rented building in Hyderabad's outskirts.

The new Microsoft campus, its largest outside the United States, will eventually house 3,000 programmers. Microsoft is one of dozens of American technology companies that have set up research and development centers in India, taking advantage of its vast pool of skilled workers who can be hired for a fraction of the cost in the United States.

"As one of the world's fastest growing information technology markets, India has long been a strategically important region for Microsoft,'' Ballmer said.

Ballmer's three-day visit, which began Monday, is aimed at boosting the company's presence in India. He is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other top government officials on Tuesday in New Delhi. He will also meet with business leaders in Bombay before flying back on Wednesday.

05:51 pm
Monday November 15, 2004
posted by rickrob

Sunday November 14, 2004

Call your Senator to oppose an H-1B increase ammendment


This is an URGENT REQUEST to everyone concerned about American worker replacement programs and the loss of American jobs to cheaper foreign labor. Whether or not you are personally working in a high-tech field or have a particular tie or interest with high-tech jobs, ALL AMERICANS must come together and fight this attempt to put more American workers in the unemployment line. H-1B visas are one of the tools employers use to displace American workers here in the US and to send American jobs overseas.


You can find the phone numbers for your Senators here:
or visit this link here (NumbersUSA also has a great free faxing service):


We have learned that the Senate will hold a meeting at some point on Monday during which they will consider attaching an H-1B increase to an appropriations bill. We do not yet know what time the meeting will occur or what bill they are attempting to attach the increase to.

There is a move underway among some Senators to increase the annual H-1B cap by exempting from the cap foreign nationals holding a Masters degree or higher from a U.S. university.

Please call your Senators immediately and ask them to oppose this increase.

Your message can be as simple as:

"I'm calling to ask Sen. _______ to oppose the move to increase H-1B visas. I know this will be discussed during a Monday Senate meeting."


Because many of you have personal experience with this issue, your calls will be much more effective if you can add something about your personal story.


Senator Stevens is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee so he will play a special role in determining what measures are allowed to be attached to various spending bills. For that reason, you may also want to call Senator Stevens and let him know that you oppose any increase in H-1B visas and ask him to oppose any effort to attach such an increase to a spending bill.


Sen. Stevens, Ted
222 West 7th Avenue - No. 2,
Anchorage, AK 99513

109 Main Street,
Ketchikan, AK 99901

120 Trading Bay Road - Suite 350,
Kenai, AK 99611

851 East Westpoint Drive - Suite 307,
Wasilla, AK 99645

Federal Building,
Fairbanks, AK 99701

Federal Building,
Juneau, AK 99802

Washington, DC 20510

We realize this is a last minute request, but there is still time to make a difference. Please call today (or Monday morning if not today) and ask your Senator to oppose this increase in foreign-worker visas.

A special Thank You to NumbersUSA and their Washington team for staying on top of this.

Thank you,
-Richard Armstrong
National Hire American Citizens Society

07:19 pm
Sunday November 14, 2004
posted by gmminks

Monday November 8, 2004

The Effects of Corporate Globalization on Massachusetts

MA Global Action (MGA) presents a Panel Discussion: "The Effects of Corporate Globalization on Massachusetts"

Wed., November 10th, 6-8 p.m.33 Harrison Ave., 3rd Flr.

Featuring: Ellen Frank, author and professor of economics at Rhode Island College; Alexandra Pineros, doctoral candidate in social policy at the Heller School at Brandeis University; Adria Scharf, co-editor, Dollars and Sense Magazine; Thad Williamson, author and doctoral candidate in government at Harvard University.

For more info contact MGA at 617-338-9966, or mail

08:13 pm
Monday November 8, 2004
posted by gmminks


"You can't stop outsourcing. You can't stop work going offshore," says Harris Miller, president of the trade group Information Technology Association of America.

08:12 pm

posted by gmminks

Saturday November 6, 2004

Fraud in the elections

ok, I am going nuts a bit on the election thing.
Let me try and get it out of my system and I will get back to our normal issue...misuse of the H1B visa programs and outsourcing...soon.

07:18 pm
Saturday November 6, 2004
posted by gmminks

Republicans paid people $100 bucks to intimidate voters in Ohio.

According to the NY Times,

Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections.

OMG what the hell? Why did Kerry throw in the towel?

What is going on??

06:50 pm

posted by gmminks

Voting machine "irregularities"

VotersUnite! has a page dedicated to media reported technical glitches reported on during the election.

Maybe we could make a game of trying to troubleshoot the errors.

Rick guesses that the machines that couldn't count past 32,000 problem is probably an overflow of a 16 bit integer variable (32767).

I think the explanation for the memory card errors in FL (Diebold told officials that the new, higher-capacity memory cards tend to have more glitches than older cards) should teach election officials to never listen to or trust a software salesman. (This is one reason that it is vital to have local techies working for you!)

Anyone else want to take a stab at the table?

06:37 pm

posted by gmminks

Election flashback

I am “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc

Why isn't this man being investigated for fraud? He said these infamous words after attending a strategy meeting at President Bush's ranch in Texas. He wrote the words while inviting wealthy Ohioans to a Bush fundraiser.

Why is this man's companies allowed to sell voting machines in Ohio? Why did the vote come down to Ohio?

What the hell is going on?

06:21 pm

posted by gmminks

The 2004 Election

First of all, I do not understand why Kerry conceded. I do not.

That said.......

There is something very, very wrong with the election. Besides the open intimidation at the polls, there were technical problems with the voting machines.

I give you the following examples:

  • N.C. Computer Loses More Than 4,500 Votes

    "More than 4,500 votes have been lost in one North Carolina county because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did."

  • Broward Ballot Blunder Changes Amendment Result

    ""The software is not geared to count more than 32,000 votes in a precinct. So what happens when it gets to 32,000 is the software starts counting backward," said Broward County Mayor Ilene Lieberman."

  • Computer glitch still baffles county clerk

    "At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters.

    That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters."

  • Election problems due to a software glitch

    "The Elections Systems and Software equipment had downloaded voting information from nine of the county's 26 precincts and as the absentee ballots were added, the precinct totals were added a second time."

  • Computer error at voting machine gives Bush 3,893 extra votes

    A computer error with a voting machine cartridge gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in a Gahanna precinct.

    Franklin County's unofficial results gave Bush 4,258 votes to Democratic challenger John Kerry's 260 votes in Precinct 1B. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

What the hell is going on?

According to Harris Miller,

“It was a very positive day for the American voting system generally and for electronic voting machines particularly,” ... “The machines performed beautifully ... Instead of theories about catastrophes, the simple reality is that the machines produce accurate results and the voters love them.”

If there was ever any doubt, Harris Miller does not represent the IT industry of the US. He is a snakeoil salesman, pure and simple. He is getting fat and happy lying for the CEOs of businesses who do not want to invest the time and money it takes to produce superior software products.

The software that counts our votes, that is running our democratic process, is full of bugs.

What will it take to change things?

One thing for takes much more than an early concession. We need someone willing to fight for all the votes that were not counted, whether the vote was lost due to technical glitches or from people being disenfranchised at the polls.

Where is that person?

02:42 pm

posted by gmminks

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