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Saturday October 29, 2005

Fresh of the Boat (FOB) productions presents...

Drop it like a FOB?
09:35 am
Saturday October 29, 2005
posted by gmminks

Wednesday October 26, 2005

For your reading pleasure.....

Indian techie flame war

06:05 pm
Wednesday October 26, 2005
posted by gmminks


From the Job Destruction Newsletter.....

Click the link to send a personalized fax to your Senators. It's free and only
takes a few minutes.


Calls/Faxes Needed Immediately to Fight Stealth Foreign Worker/Immigration

Your urgent action is needed to flood the Senate with phone calls and faxes
voicing strong opposition to a stealth effort underway to balance the budget on
the backs of American workers by increasing foreign workers and employment-based

The Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday passed a measure as part of a
budget reconciliation process intended to reduce federal spending by $300
million that sells hundreds of thousands of high-skilled American jobs over the
next several years to businesses who will be allowed to import foreign workers.

The measure, proposed by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Edward Kennedy
(D-MA), dramatically increases employment-based immigration and H-1B "high-tech"
visas for foreign workers in exchange for revenue created by increased fees on
H-1B and L-1 visas. (See below for further details.)

Please take the following actions right away:

Click here to send a free fax to your Senators urging them to reject this
section of the budget reconciliation package.
Follow your faxes up with phone calls reiterating your strong opposition to this
outrageous proposal. Call the Captiol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask to be
connected or find your Senator's direct office number here on our web site.
Specifically insist that these unacceptable provisions be removed from the bill
either by the Budget Committee or by the full Senate if necessary.
Should these provisions be included in the reconciliation, urge your Senators to
oppose the bill in its entirety.
Legislative Details:

The committee approved the measure 14-2 after efforts by FAIR allies to kill the
proposal failed. Not surprising, the Chamber of Commerce and the business
community are behind this new expansion of guestworkers and are expected to push
for an even greater expansion when the legislation moves to the floor of the

The original Specter/Kennedy proposal sought to increase H-1B visas by up to
60,000 visas per year. Fortunately, the committee adopted an amendment by Sen.
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reducing that number to 30,000 visas per year.

The final package would:

Vastly increase employment-based immigration by recapturing unused
employment-based visas from prior years for immediate allocations of up to

Exempt spouses and minor children from counting against the annual cap on
employment-based immigrant visas. (This could result in an annual increase of
hundreds of thousands of employment-based immigrant visas.)

Allow those in the country with pending application to adjust their status
before an immigrant visa is available, without regard to visa limitations.

Recapture unused H-1B visas going back to 1991 in order to make available 30,000
new H-1B visas per year. This would effectively raise the 65,000 to 95,000 for
at least 10 years, not counting the 20,000 exemptions approved in last year's
omnibus spending bill.

Impose a new $500 fee on employment-based immigrant visa petitions.

Impose a new $500 fee on recaptured H-1B visa petitions (the additional 30,000
visas over the original 65,000 limit).

Impose a new $750 fee on L-1 visas.

The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to markup the budget reconciliation
package this Wednesday, with a full Senate floor vote soon to follow, probably
next week. Once approved by the Senate, a House/Senate conference will be held
to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget
reconciliation package. The House version is far superior. It contains no
foreign worker or employment based immigration expansions. The House version of
the legislation simply raises revenue by increasing fees on L-1 visas by $1,500.

Our goal is to get the Senate to strip this language from the budget
reconciliation. If the Senate passes the measure, we must press the House to
refuse including it in the House/Senate conference bill.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Support this Newsletter and by donating:

05:49 pm

posted by gmminks

Sunday October 23, 2005

ITAA proud to have Kennedy on their team reports that even though "ITAA got Senators Ted Kennedy (Dem.-Mass.) and Arlen Spector (Rep.-Penn.) behind their campaign the Judiciary Committee voted to increase rate caps charged on L-1 Visas, which [Harris] Miller claims will hurt American businesses even more by increasing the cost of hiring temporary foreign workers."

06:01 pm
Sunday October 23, 2005
posted by gmminks

Delphi Bankruptcy won't affect India Operation

According to

The Michigan-based company will also pump in $10 million for expanding its Bangalore technical centre that develops software for Delphi's worldwide vehicle applications.

''The filing (for Chapter 11 protection in U S Bankruptcy Court) excludes Asia Pacific and India. This restructuring is well planned and will not affect our business and investment in India,''


Prabhakar said the company has a billion dollars in cash for non-US operations. ''This is besides the regular cash flow. So we are not envisaging any issues for funding growth in India.'' The parts maker has invested $90 million in India since it set up the wholly-owned subsidiary in 1995.

Delphi, which employs 185,000 people worldwide, will also not cut any jobs in the country. ''We have 1,700 people in India, for manufacturing as well as R & D, and no changes will be made. In fact, Delphi is expanding the Bangalore development centre, for which $10 million investment has been lined up,'' he added.

Delphi's Technical Center India (TCI) at Bangalore, which began with 35 people in 2000, currently houses 360 engineers. ''We will hire more people as we are doing development for local customers besides more engineering and design work,'' Delphi Automotive Systems Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Prashant Shah said.

Delphi relied heavily on H-1B and L1 visas.

They plan on cutting 65 percent of the union's members, trim pay by about 60 percent and slash benefits.
What will happen to the workers affected by these cuts:

"Delphi also proposed lowering wages from about $25 an hour to $9 or $10 an hour for production workers, eliminating cost-of-living adjustments, dropping dental and vision coverage, reducing holiday and vacation allowances and having workers pick up a bigger portion of health-care costs"

How can you go from making $25 an hour to making $9 an hour? Who picks up the tab when these folks lose their health care coverage?

And how is any of this acceptable when this company has a billion dollars in cash available, and is planning on ramping up their overseas operations?

05:14 pm

posted by gmminks

Why laxer H-1B and L1 laws are not good for American workers


This morning I chatted with a friend in India who runs a software development house there. They were recently bought by a US firm. That US firm can now apply for the easier to obtain L1B visa for it’s new employees. Apparently this is going on all over India. According to my friend, there are very few small software houses left in India. They’ve all become American subsidiaries. It’s a win for everyone. The quality of life for the Indian employees is improving (his bill out rate is now nearly twice the rate it was before the buyout), the US firm has acquired a pool of inexpensive talent without the expense and difficulty of recruiting in India, and they are now able to import the individuals they wish to the US at will

The only person who doesn’t win in this, really, is the American taxpayer. A certain percentage of those jobs which might have become US jobs, are now more likely to stay Indian jobs.

01:35 pm

posted by gmminks


"For once, though, H1-B visas have not raised the expected storm. Importing tech workers into the US even became a poll issue with Democrat candidate John Kerry"

H1-B visas for techworkers and other professionals are going to be raised from 65,000 a year to 95,000, a 46% increase.

01:30 pm

posted by gmminks

If I haven't replied to emails, forgive me

I was out of town because of a death in my family, and while I was gone our basement flooded. I can't get on my main computer, because it was in the basement.

I am also working, and we are so busy it is unreal.

So, please forgive me if I haven't gotten back to you. There are 2 emails in particular I am going to try to answer now.

I got an email from someone about organizations to join to fight this whole outsourcing/bringing in tons of labor issue.

I don't have an answer for you. :) I haven't found a single group that has the money and stamina to stand up to the lobbyists for the big IT companies.

I was a member of TechsUnite, but they are very Washington (State) centric, and while I was a member they were pretty unorganized.

I am a member of the TechsUnite Yahoo group. You can get some good info from them, but no one is really motivated to do anything.

I am subscribed to Rob Sanchez's Job Destruction Newsletter. He offers great current info on the subject, and passes on "Action Items" when he gets them.

I am a member of ITPAA. Good info there as well.

You may want to check out TORAW. They are in CT.

There is also the Programmer's Guild

Rescue American Jobs came out of early efforts to rally the tech troops.

I don't belong to IEEE USA, but they are becoming quite aggressive in getting engineers back to work.

I don't agree with all of their rhetoric, but does a fantastic job of staying on top of the legislative situation.

08:12 am

posted by gmminks

Another ITAA Press Release to watch

ITAA Says H-1B Visa Cap Needs Signifigant Increase

(ed: an oldie but a goodie....)

IT Services Press Release
ITAA Says H1-B Cap Needs Significant Increase

For More Information Contact:
Bob Cohen (703) 284-5301
Charlie Greenwald (703) 284-5305

Arlington, VA - The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) today said the federal government's announcement that it has already received enough H1-B petitions to reach next year’s (FY’06) cap underscores the need for a significant increase in the number of such visas allowed. Federal law currently caps the number of H1-B visas at 65,000 per year.

"The H1-B visa program is important to U.S. competitiveness in high technology," said ITAA President Harris N. Miller. "H1-B visa holders are foreign born individuals with talent and expertise unavailable in local markets. We believe a significant increase is required to meet the need for specialized skills and keep companies--and as a result jobs for US workers--growing at a steady pace."

Miller continued, "Talent does not recognize geographic borders or country of origin. If we want to be competitive on the world stage, we need to raise the H-1B cap. Maintaining a cap that is so low that it is met before the year even begins makes no sense; it only helps our foreign competitors."

07:40 am

posted by gmminks

Semi-Conductor companies need more foreign workers

Halla passionately called for the lifting of visa quotas that allow a limited number of foreign-born students to remain in the United States when their education is completed. "Let these engineers live and work where they want to live and work.

Let me translate:
"Please don't let them go back to China where they will work for our competitors. We have convinced everyone that outsourcing work is the best way to do business, and if you let these kids go back to their own countries to make a life, they are gonna put us out of business."

Jerks. It never occurs to them to redeploy all the workers they laid off when they
07:35 am

posted by gmminks

Keep your eye on ITAA

ITAA Supports Provision Allowing H1-B visa recapture

IT Services Press Release
ITAA Supports Provision Allowing H-1B Visa Recapture

For More Information Contact:
Bob Cohen (703) 284-5301
Charlie Greenwald (703) 284-5305

Arlington, VA - The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) today registered its support for immigration provisions that the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider next week as part of the reconciliation process. The provisions are designed to provide much needed relief to U.S. businesses by allowing business immigration visas available but not used in previous years to be "recaptured" for future use. They will also yield more fees from the user community that hires H-1B's, helping Congress reduce the Federal deficit.

The FY 2006 (which began October 1, 2005) annual limitation on H-1B visas for skilled temporary foreign workers, including information technology workers, was reached two months before the fiscal year actually began, the government announced earlier in the year.

"With companies now forced to wait an entire year before additional H-1B visas are available, this is the time for lawmakers to take immediate steps to shore up U.S. competitiveness by thinking outside of the box," said ITAA President Harris N. Miller. "Using visa numbers that were not used in past years, especially during economic slowdowns, makes good economic sense, good business sense and good common sense for growing jobs and companies in this country. The US labor market is dramatically stronger than it was two years ago, and this measure recognizes that by effectively transferring numbers from previous years to this year. "

"ITAA commends Chairman Specter and Senator Kennedy for considering these critical provisions," commented Miller. "We hope this provision will be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the entire Senate, and accepted by the House of Representatives." The Committee is expected to take up the bill next week.

ITAA also has recorded its opposition to the House Judiciary Committee's action to meet its budget targets by increasing the fee on L-1 visas. Such action, particularly without providing any relief on the visa caps and processing issues, would simply hurt the competitiveness of U.S. firms and ultimately result in fewer domestic jobs.

Upcoming IT Services Events
15-Dec-05 - ITAA Executive Dinner Series Dallas, TX
14-Dec-05 - ITAA's Investor & Analysts Relations Forum Teleconference
08-Dec-05 - IT Services Executive Outlook Forum Teleconference
13-Nov-05 - 2005 ITAA Executive Leadership Summit Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa

Remember the words of this press release when reading editorials on this issue. It will be amazing how so many people can use the exact same words to talk about a's almost cult-ish.
07:32 am

posted by gmminks

Ted Kennedy's website

Senator Kennedy's website has a section for issues.

NO WHERE on that page is a statement of his stand on H-1B visas.

Here's what the bullet on the economy says:

As of January 2004, 36 states have failed to get back to their pre-recession levels. 49 states have not created enough jobs to keep up with natural growth and 45 states have higher unemployment than when the recession began. An economic plan must consist of more than just disproportional tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

The economic plan must also consist of getting people back to work. You can't do that by increasing the amount of temporary visas allowed, or by allowing labor protections for the working class be washed away by a hurricane.

If you look on the Economic Development page, more info unfolds about Senator Kennedy:

I have also been working hard to help the high technology industries that are making Massachusetts a leader nationwide by fighting for a doubling of the federal investment in research and development, as well as a permanent Research and Development Tax Credit. I will continue to work to improve FDA to better support of our biotechnology and biomedical companies.

What else has he been working hard to help the high technology industries with? Has he been educated by Harris Miller about the IT industries unquenchable thirst "need" for unlimited H-1B visas?

According to my source, it seems that he has graduated from the ITAA school of thought with honors. My source related the following when the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill increasing the yearly limit on H-1B visas:

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning to create 30,000 new H-1B
visas starting next year. Each will have a new $500 fee attached to it.
They will also raise the L-1 visa fee by $750. All of this brings the new
H-1B cap up to 115,000.

You want the really bad news? The leading proponent of the measure was
Sen. Kennedy. He pushed the hardest, argued the longest, and ultimatly
convinced most of the committee to raise the cap.
Actually, the Democrats were much more supportive of the amendment that the Republicans.

Why isn't Kennedy proud of his efforts in supporting the big IT companies? I don't find much with a Google search.

  • An article from PRWeb, pointing out the ITAA had a survey last year saying there are over 210,000 unemployed U.S. tech workers, 92,000 being skilled female IT workers.

    Again, why do we need to raise this visa cap?)
  • An Immigration lawyer's blog, lamenting the fact that no one is using the H-1B visas as the laws now allow, so we should make them easier to obtain.

If Kennedy is so proud of his efforts to help the big IT companies and make America more competitive, why are there no press releases about his influence in shutting out the (minimally) 210K unemployed tech workers from jobs?

07:04 am

posted by gmminks

Friday October 14, 2005

Remember Congress ordered a report on Outsourcing?

As part of the Appropriations Bill of 2003, Congress requested a report on how outsourcing effects the economy. The report, Six-Month Assessment of Workforce Globalization
In Certain Knowledge-Based Industries
was released last month after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed by Manufacturing and Technology News.

This report was never released to the public, and is still not on any government website.

The study did not do any new research. It used available government information. So, don't expect much from the report.

The report is already generating controversy. It cost $335,000 for a 12-page report. The report was due well before the elections, but was not cleared for release because of how controversial outsourcing had become in the election.

Can I just say in college we not only had to write reports that were longer than that for mid-term exams, but at the same time we had to create and conduct surveys for those reports. That is alot of money for virtually no work...maybe I shouldn't have gone so technical!

I want to know how a research paper to be presented to Congress is allowed to support data with a simple comment such as these findings are "based on surveys conducted by Technology Administration analysts collected through private discussions with companies, academia experts, and attendance at industry conferences." They went to trade shows and talked to the top salespeople to get their information??

Here are some opportunities for research that I see. Here is a list of things I would have chosen from if I had been given $335,000 to research this issue:

  • The report states "It was also not possible to determine whether the shift of U.S. work to non-U.S. locations resulted in job losses for U.S. workers or whether the shift of work to non-U.S. destinations was replaced by new work in the United States."

    This blog, and many others, have run articles when major companies announce layoffs in the US and then hire close to the same number in India. I would have analyzed that data.

  • The report states "Additionally while "insourcing" of work into the United States does occur and is seen by some as a vital part of workforce globalization, accounting for 6.3 million Americans employed by U.S. affiliates
    of foreign-owned companies with an annual payroll of $350 billion in 2001".

    I would analyze the amount of temorary foreign labor that is part of the $350B. I would analyze how much we are spending on unemployment benefits, and determine if those have increased.

    It's great to throw around numbers to make things sound impressive, that is what you are supposed to do on a resume. But a research article shouldn't throw numbers around just to have them out there. There should be some context to it.

06:46 am
Friday October 14, 2005
posted by gmminks

Have you contacted your elected officials yet?

You better!

Harris Miller is saying ITAA is educating Congress about the negative impact on the US economy of this problem, and seeking remedies.

Based on the latest Job Destruction Newsletter from eliminate the cap on H1B visas so we can bring more foreiners to do jobs in the US so we can compete with China. (huh?)

  • An editorial in the Rocky Mountain News calling for a hike in the number of H-1B visas.

  • The rebuilding of the Gulf Coast apparently can't happen unless Indian companies are able to get visas to bring folks over to do the work.

    Ok, this one really pisses me off. People still don't have jobs, clothes, places to live, etc. The place I am from is literally GONE. And we can't let the displaced people of the South rebuild themselves? How stupid!!

  • We have to let the elected officials know what is really going on. You have to make your voice heard. Call your Senators and Reps NOW!!!!

    05:56 am

    posted by gmminks

    Thursday October 13, 2005

    Check out Wright Associates

    If you are looking for a job, check out

    Numerous IT openings kept up to date

    THe guy that owns that site also runs a networking group to help people with the job search process -finding jobs etc.

    I get the emails for the group, there are some interesting jobs that come across.

    08:36 pm
    Thursday October 13, 2005
    posted by gmminks

    Wednesday October 12, 2005

    For your reading pleasure....

    If you are not convinced that my news is accurate, check out the new articles calling for more visas:

    07:45 pm
    Wednesday October 12, 2005
    posted by gmminks


    Word on the street is that there is a new proposal in the Senate to create an additional 60,000 H-1B visas per year for the next 5 years (at least.)

    The proposal is being sold as a revenue enhancement as the new visas would come with an additional $500 fee, raising $30 million. The business community is selflessly agreeing to pay higher taxes, in exchange for getting more visas. (<---sarcasm)

    The actual proposal on the table is authored by Sen. Arlen Specter
    (R-PA), but Kennedy supports it. As most of you know, Sen. Kennedy is a strong proponent of raising the cap.

    If this is introduced, it will probably show up in the Budget Bill. If it gets in there, it will be hard to get it out.


    Let Senator Kennedy know what you think about increasing the H-1B visa limit by 60K per year. Also, let Senator Kerry know what you think about this.

    Some points you may want to make the Senators aware of:

    1. Currently, H-1B visas are going unused.
      According to this article, "large numbers of cap exempt H visa numbers for graduate degree holders from American colleges and universities remained unused for both FY 2005 and FY 2006".
    2. H-1B visa holders are paid less than the average wage
      This article reports that while the median wage for workers in computer and math occupations was $62,620 in May 2004, many companies requesting this category of worker for H-1B status planned to pay the workers more than an average of $48,355 a year.
      (See the Programmer's Guild report for more detailed analysis of this topic)

    Here is the contact information, remember a telephone call is usually the most effective!

    Senator Kennedy

    email You have to fill out an online form
    Address: 2400 JFK Building, Boston, MA 02203
    Phone: 617/565-3170

    Senator Kerry

    email You have to fill out an online form
    why does Kerry have so many more offices in the state? hmmm?

    One Bowdoin Square
    Tenth Floor
    Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 565-8519 - Phone
    (617) 248-3870 - Fax

    One Financial Plaza
    Springfield, MA 01103
    (413) 785-4610 - Phone
    (413) 736-1049 - Fax

    Fall River
    222 Milliken Place
    Suite 312
    Fall River, Ma 02721
    (508) 677-0522 - Phone
    (508) 677-0275 - Fax

    90 Madison Place
    Suite 205
    Worcester, MA 01608
    (508) 831-7380 - Phone

    This is your chance to do something, so at least call Kennedy tomorrow, and let him know how the citizens of the Commonwealth feel about his support to add 60K H-1B visas to our already tight job market!

    06:46 pm

    posted by gmminks

    Sunday October 9, 2005

    Illegal workers die in hazardous conditions

    So, marble countertops are a hot commodity. In this free market, if you can get the marble out with a low operating margin, then you can make a killing.

    How to lower the operating margin?

    Hire illegal aliens, they cost less, so your payroll costs are minimal.

    And, since they are not in this country legally, don't bother to follow OSHA rules, like making sure they wear masks so they don't inhale the silica (which will cause cancer).

    Don't worry about getting enough forklifts to support the work, cuz these guys work way harder than Americans (<--sarcasm, no evil emails please), they will just pick the granite up and move it where it needs to go.

    Why buy steel-toe boots for these illegal employees? If they get hurt, how can they sue? They aren't supposed to be here anyways!

    All of these accusations come from former supervisors at Atlantic Stone Industries LLC in Malborough after the death of an illegal worker. According to the Milford paper,

    "Valdecir Rodrigues, 38, was killed when granite slabs weighing more than a ton fell and crushed him last Monday."

    Of course the owner, Kirk Hundley, says that the accusations the workers are not provided safety equipment is unfounded. From the same article:

    "It's absolutely not true," said Hundley. "Our workers wear the appropriate safety gear. I don't know what happened prior to when we took over the company. All workers are trained, certified. We have a safety consultant, and there is a disciplinary process if workers don't wear their safety gear.

    He does not comment on the fact that he was employing an illegal immigrant.

    His testimony is in direct conflict with the men who used to be managers at the granite shop. They say OSHA showed up for a follow-up inspection in May 2004, and the company made a show of having workers put on safety equipment.

    The former managers also say the company turns a blind eye to hiring illegal workers, and that as many as 90% of the workers are in the country illegally. This is good for the company, becuase they have a workforce that cannot afford to complain about the working conditions.

    So, if you are remodeling your kitchen, and want granite countertops, be sure to check where that granite is from. Do not buy granite from Atlantic Stone Industries LLC, 869 Boston Post Road, Malborough MA.

    To do so would to be supporting modern day slavery.
    06:23 am
    Sunday October 9, 2005
    posted by gmminks

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