The New Times reported this week that Walt Disney World fired 250 employees, hired Indian workers on a temporary visa and then made the outgoing Americans train their replacements.
The Times story reported Disney used a temporary visa known as the H-1B to hire new workers from an Indian based outsourcing firm. The H-1B program was designed to allow American companies to import highly skilled foreigners for jobs they cannot find Americans to perform, but as always, the program is rife with loopholes and abuses.
Companies claim to use H-1B visas so they can attract the “best and brightest people in the world.” However, if you squint really hard, you’ll be able to read “…for less money than they have to pay U.S. workers.“
An excellent article by Martin Kaste for NPR’s All Tech Considered, talks about what many believe is possibly really behind all the kumbayah all-hands-across-the-water, increase-the-cap movements:
“For the past decade, he’s [Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology] been studying how consulting firms use temporary work visas to help American companies cut costs. He says they use the visas to supply cheaper workers here, but also to smooth the transfer of American jobs to information-technology centers overseas.”
Kaste further noted that H-1B consultancies are especially big in banking, insurance and pretty much any industry that runs on big computer systems maintained by aging, increasingly expensive American tech workers.
Think about this the next time you visit Disney. All hail Yen Sid!