After the SCE debacle, in which the giant utility laid off American IT workers and replaced them with H-1B (and likely L-1) workers, 10 U.S. senators wrote a letter to DOL and other key federal agencies, asking for an investigation and suggestions on how the law should be changed. I was skeptical at the time that the letter would have much effect, and sure enough, DOL declined the Senate request.
Here are some recent developments:
- There is now a ruckus over an SCE-style action by Disney.
- Senators Sessions and Durbin have issued a press release expressing disappointment that the Dept. of Homeland Security has joined DOL in refusing the Senate request.
- A group of the SCE victims have now joined a lawsuit against the recent executive action by the Obama administration to grant work rights to spouses of H-1Bs. The linked article has some interesting details about the SCE layoff. (By the way, the suit cites the action as making U.S. work even more attractive to the H-1Bs, thus further harming American workers. But the suit seems to miss the fact that many of the H-1B spouses are also in the STEM field, and thus will have more direct adverse impacts.)
- Interestingly, Infosys, one of the firms that supplied foreign workers to SCE, is contributing to coding education in the schools, with the message essentially being, “Don’t worry about the programmer shortage, America, we’re going to help K-12 produce more programmers.” When the firm wrote that press release last December, little did they know that its own actions with SCE would dramatize the falsity of the “programmer shortage” myth.
The Obama people seem oblivious to the growing perception that the Democrats are ceding their role as the pro-labor party to Republicans. Odd world we live in.