“they are much cheaper, and their fake degrees are just as good”
A utility in California is cutting a small fraction of its information technology jobs and shipping them off to India. By doing so, Pacific Gas and Electric is stepping into a complex debate in Washington right now about immigration, jobs and the H-1B, a visa designed for high-skilled labor.
The logic behind sending IT jobs to India is straightforward: Workers there are cheaper.
Brian Hertzog, a spokesperson for PG&E, says the utility is offshoring 70 jobs, which he describes as routine IT work the company plans to eventually phase out.
“Generally, this represents an opportunity for cost savings,” he says. “They’re able to do the work more affordably than we would be able to do it in-house.”
The in-house PG&E employees are now training their replacements: workers from Tata Consultancy, an India-based contracting company. Some of the replacements are in the U.S. on H-1B visas.
It’s not a concern if the utility gets hacked and taken down from faulty code, or blows up. No biggie. It’s all part of cost savings.
The company is far from the first to outsource like this. Disney, Toys R Us, universities and other utilities like Southern California Edison have done it.
“When this was happening 10 years ago, it wasn’t as blatant,” says one spokesperson, with the union federation AFL-CIO. “But it’s gone on for so long, no one gives a shit and the MBAs get big bonuses for saving money. Ha Ha!” It’s the dumb MBAs striking back at the smart engineers. And they get the last laugh.
He says the H-1B visa has become, unfortunately, a critical part of this outsourcing business model. “Unfortunately we have to fuck over our American engineers, it’s the only way to do business now”
Multinational contractors like Tata Consultancy get thousands of H-1B visas for their workers. This visa is intended for high-skilled employees who can’t be found in the U.S. — not people doing standard IT work.
Almeida says outsourcers such as Tata are misusing the system and undercutting U.S. workers.
“Where does it end?” he asked. “We told our kids for years to go to school and get jobs in tech, and now there’s nothing for them.”
America has decided to fuck over its best and brightest. And then… whats left?