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H1B Storm Clouds

For Your Reading Pleasure:

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,274443,00.asp

"Never bury your head in the  sand with predators about"

Larry From Queens
Thursday, June 27, 2002

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it
seems from this article and the website it links to (www.sunclassaction.com) that
the main allegation here is that companies
are treating H1B works and US Citizens equally when laying them off. How is this
descrimination?

David Clayworth
Friday, June 28, 2002

From the link:

"Backers of H1-B increases 'think the best thing they can do is to shut up about this and look for an opportunity next year to sneak it through,' said Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo..."

Anon
Friday, June 28, 2002

"Santiglia's claims are fueled by the perception that he lost his job while, he said, some H1-B visa holders—brought into this country ostensibly because there were no domestic workers to perform their jobs—retained theirs."

David, to clarify, the claims against Sun are that U.S. IT workers were laid off while H1-B visa holders retained their jobs.

Marty Eichelman
Friday, June 28, 2002

Maybe people should stop using AT&T....
The following seems completely out of hand


[The resolution also challenges the employ of H1-B visa holders by telecommunications companies attempting to break strikes (as allegedly happened at AT&T Corp. this spring when the company brought in hundreds of Indian workers for training as network technicians as part of a strike contingency plan).]

Oliver C.
Friday, June 28, 2002


I thought that your country had rules against this kind of practices... Isn't supposed that they can't hire people while their workers are on strike?

Leonardo Herrera
Friday, June 28, 2002


Oh, and I don't think I like the wording in www.sunclassaction.com -- the words "American Citizen" written with capitals just doesn't seems right.

Leonardo Herrera
Friday, June 28, 2002

Hmmm. It still seems to me that if I sack
foreign workers first, for no reason other than they are foreign, I'm guilty of
discrimination.

David Clayworth
Friday, June 28, 2002

I don't remember any laws preventing a "scab" to work while the rest of the workery is on strike.  The striking workers might be a little violent about it.

Joe AA.
Friday, June 28, 2002

1. Are there any stats to back up the claim that H1B workers get paid less than local workers?

2. From my own experiences at Intuit, Microsoft and two other companies, the H1B workers are always among the cream of the crop.

cheapo
Friday, June 28, 2002

>I thought that your country had rules against this kind of practices... Isn't supposed that they can't hire people while their workers are on strike?

Leonardo my friend,

No, sadly, workers in the US have few rights compared to most other modern 'democratic' countries.

Are you italian? What are the laws like over there regarding these sorts of situations?

Ed the Millwright
Friday, June 28, 2002

More updates from PCWeek:

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,302317,00.asp

Oliver C.
Friday, June 28, 2002

David, the issue is not that h1b's are "foreigners" but that they have been specially imported at the whim of large employers. They are not migrants or American citizens. In fact, minority groups in American are among the biggest losers from the h1b program.

The effect of importing large numbers of special guest workers is to depress wages and leave Americans unemployed.

So it's not a battle against "foreigners," it's a battle against greedy CEO's on multi-million salaries.

cheapo, most examinations of the h1b program point to them being mostly just average people, and sometimes with exagerated qualifications. There are cases of straightout fraud.

For an excellent discussion of the whole subject, read Prof Norman Matloff's site at UC Davis. A site called Zazona has a database of salaries obtained using actual salary data obtained from large employers using freedom of information legislation. The data is clear - h1bs are paid at significantly lower rates.

Hugh Wells
Friday, June 28, 2002

[Seems Related]
http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=9419&ixReplies=186

Oliver C.
Monday, July 01, 2002

Internal Memo To EDS Employees
[PART 1]
To EDS employees
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Vervynckt, Lawrence
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 4:10 PM
To: Brown, Dick (mail centre); Brown, Dick (Mail Box)
Cc: EDS Americas Employees; EDS Employees; EDS;
'presweb@pobox.upenn.edu'; NISC ALL EMPLOYEES
Subject: memo to Dick Brown

Dick,

There are ethical ways to cut costs, and then there is executive greed.
Your comment at the recent shareholder's meeting will be your legacy, like
it or not ("I have to make that much money, I have an expensive wife.").

Most of the people were proud to work for EDS and liked/like what they
do/did at one time, but no more. Most EDS employees made personal
sacrifices (eg. worked long hours, traveled extensively, worked weekends)
and that wasn't enough to keep their jobs.

It seems to me that your MBA is not worth the paper it is printed on. You
don't understand that all EDS has is its PEOPLE! It does not make ANYTHING!
Some clients have good working relationships with certain (ex)employees and
when you have a (mis)manager (that, by the way, couldn't manage his way out
of a paper bag) get rid of a person like that, then the client is very
unhappy - service slips, and bad feelings fester. I know, you will say the
'dashboard' doesn't show it. It's like the old saying - Those that can, do;
Those that can't, teach; and Those that can't teach, manage.

You have shown that you care only about short-term gains (and it ain't
happening right now) at the expense of long-term harm to the company.  Some
people are being let go because they use the open door policy. Everyone
knows that if you complain about anything going on you're next in line to
be let go from the company.  People are let go for 'workforce reduction' - NOT
performance (as you have said in the press), NOT because their skill sets
had slipped (as stated by Jim Daley in the press).

Dick, NO ONE believes you ANYMORE. Your memos are a laughing matter for
90% of the employees (the 10% are your 'yes-men' you have surrounding you).
Paydays are so stressful and tense, it is pathetic - the backstabbing of
employees to climb over each other is cannibalistic in nature - Is this
your new corporate culture? Because that is what's happening.

Talk to some of your former employees - they have nothing to lose by
telling you the truth - if you dare to talk to any of them, or if they
would talk to you.  There are ways to save money that doesn't involve cutting
employees - But I will not list them here.

Here are some questions that I believe you should answer for the employees-

1) What are your IT contingency plans for third world unrest?

2) How can you justify your $55 Million Salary when the stock
price has not consistently been rising and remaining at levels close to or
above IBM? The answer you gave at the shareholder's meeting is unacceptable
and makes a mockery of the company.

3) Why has EDS not been at the forefront of Software
development? With the talent that existed (and still exists), surely some
revolutionary software could have been produced that would catapult EDS to
household name status.

4) Why is there no consistency of management practices between
accounts?

5) Why is it that you can visit Copenhagen, Fiji, Tokyo, or
Bremerhaven for the EDS image yet cannot visit Bethlehem, PA, Fairborn,
Ohio, Richmond, VA, St. Louis, MO, Winchester, KY, or South Carolina for
boosting employee morale?

6) Why are you so inaccessible to the average employee?

Truth Be Told
Monday, July 01, 2002

Internal Memo To EDS Employees
[PART 2]
To EDS employees
7) What is your corporate plan - In specific detail? I'm not
talking about the weekly Science Fiction newsletter that you produce. I'm
talking of YOUR Goals. Where are you leading this company? Where do you
envision EDS to be 5 years from now?
8) Are you aware of the discrepancy between your vision and the
vision and attitude of middle management? When will you get them on the
same page as yourself (provided you have a plan in place)? If you don't realize,
middle management has a feudalistic approach to their employees and
accounts they manage. Many of their practices go against EDS corporate directives.

9) If some accounts warrant H1B employees and outsourcing to
places such as Mexico, India, etc. why don't you discuss them with
employees and let them know what is going on (status of contracts, terms, etc)?

10) How is it that there is no coherent retraining policy within
EDS? If someone is currently on the bench, they have to fend for themselves
via EDS University with no clue as to what is available - what projects are
upcoming, what technologies are needed to make them billable once again.
For Example, an employee comes on the Bench. He/She is mainframe oriented.
There is a project coming up somewhere else that requires SAP. Shouldn't
management and yourself be responsible for guiding that employee in the
right direction so that they can get onto that SAP project and become
billable once again rather than have the employee slog their way through
online courses with no direction whatsoever.

11) You maintain that the IT industry is a very fluid culture.
Why is the company still adhering to IDP's? In the example of #10 above,
the employees IDP may not list SAP as a personal goal. However, if it were a
difference between being employed and not being employed, the employee
would definitely make the sacrifice and learn SAP. This makes the IDP useless.

12) Why does EDS still adhere to the "Bell Curve" for ranking
employees? This forced ranking is a failure and has proven such in many
school systems.

13) Why is it my Director has the autonomy to make significant
business decisions nationwide, yet a .50 cent raise request has to go to 3
levels above him to someone who has no clue regarding the validity of the
request?

14) Why are we, "the leaders in global technology solutions",
still using such as antiquated system as CAS?

15) Why does a staffing request to replace an entry-level, $8/hr
employee have to go all the way to Paul Chiapparone?

16) Ah yes - the forced ranking system. So - you have 5, highly
tenured, highly skilled leader-level employees. However, based on the
"rules", somebody is going to get screwed.

17) Why is it that we repeatedly hear the rhetoric of how valued
our employees are, and how we reward the top performers, yet a "1"
employee's raise request submitted 30 days prior  to due, ends up
getting approved 3 month's late because it sat in multiple Upper
Management's "to-do" list too long.

18) Isn't it fraud (to your customers) to sell a contract using a
domestic model, then shifting processes (using personnel not involved in
the development of those processes) offshore, where work ethic and fundamental
service ideals are radically different from those sold as part of a contractual
obligation to a customer? (In traditional manufacturing industries, the
aforementioned practice is known as bait & switch)

19) Isn't is also fraud (to the stockholders) to form a shell
corporation (namely EDS Resource Management Corporation) for the sole
purpose of masking compensatory losses by way  of transferring
personnel without their knowledge to this corporation prior to laying them
off, thereby operating that business at a loss, so as not to impact the
stock price of EDS?

20) Isn't it fraud (to your domestic labor force) to harness talent
and resources only long enough to construct process framework, only to
leave them high and dry without severance, then tie up their 401Ks (that in
some cases are propping up your stock price) for weeks on end?

21) Isn't it fraud (to your remaining domestic workforce) to tell
them that their jobs are secure, provided their performance and production
is up to EDS's "high standards (until you have their functions documented
and shifted to cheaper labor)?  --- If you have answers to any of these
questions that would pass as anything other than doublespeak, please feel
free to address them in future "letters from Dick" internally. Please be
sure to quote the above questions verbatim when responding, so as not to
diminish the intent of the question.

Please also free to address these questions (again VERBATIM) with your
Board of Directors who, if they are not yes-men and woman, may take a dim view of
the direction of your 'leadership'.

Larry Vervynckt
Information Analyst
EDS - DBA AND PHILIPS SEMICONDUCTOR TEAM
MS TRNG
1401 E. Hoffer
Kokomo, IN 46902


Truth Be Told
Monday, July 01, 2002

Someone must have a vary vary bad weekend!!,
EDS India is GREAT!!

Gokul Das
Monday, July 01, 2002

A new phenomenon; the corporate suicide bomber.

Innocent By-Stander
Monday, July 01, 2002

Whoah! Kudos to this Corporate Kamikaze. I hope he wrote a haiku and chatted to his ancestors before flying off on this mission.


Given George W.'s recent interest in that big ole'pile of donations producing thing called 'business', maybe he shoulda cc'ed it to the President.


Most of the posters in this thread have commented upon the outstanding Chutzpah/cojones/nerve that this guy's got, and AMEN to that. Who wants to take bets that he's gonna get it Right Up The Ass as a result - hey maybe he's terminal and has nothin to lose.


Looking inward, I'd be surprised if I ever tried the same thing in business and I think that's why many of us here have commented on his self sacrifice (or insanity, depending).


If each of us (you reading/trolling) had this level of committment, would it make a difference to the scams the Top Pyramid gets to play?


I reckon so. Rock on to Lawrence 'No Fear' Vervynckt, may we all enjoy so glorious an end! Ra!

Meek Follower
Monday, July 01, 2002

Is America a great country, or what? I mean, where else can a CEO like the dick that runs EDS can get paid 55 million dollars a year AND fuck his employees in the process. Come on, name one country where somebody can do that.

I predict that, one day very soon, CEOs will pay themselves a 100 million dollars a year and force their employees to PAY to work at the company. Sounds ridiculous? Remember we're talking about American workers here. Never underestimate the stupidity of most American workers - they will stand there quietly and let others slowly but surely bleed them dry.


To the fellow who wrote this memo - congrats. America needs more people like you - people with backbone and the brains to see what is really happening. It's time for a revolution folks!

Steven Hamachi
Monday, July 01, 2002

Wow. I haven't read a rant email as well thought out, lucid, and brutally honest as that one in a long time. Congratulations to this guy. He might go down in history as the symbolic first martyr in a jihad against corporate excess and welfare. Somebody needs to get this to all the mainstream media outlets like CNN, etc. At least, give this guy some cover as a corporate whistleblower.

Withheld to protect the Guilty
Monday, July 01, 2002

Hey that Larry is definitely not this [Larry]!!!
Je..us. F..king Chr..st

Larry From Queens
Monday, July 01, 2002

Ed the Millwright wrote:
> No, sadly, workers in the US have few rights compared
> to most other modern 'democratic' countries.
>
> Are you italian? What are the laws like over there
> regarding these sorts of situations?

No, I'm chilean. We have pretty good regulations on this matter. OTOH, we are already cheap labor in our own country :-)

A good programmer gets something about $20K/year... a 4+ years experience software engineer can make about twice that money. Alas, our living cost is pretty low, so you can have a nice home and a car with that kind of money.

Leonardo Herrera
Monday, July 01, 2002

I don't know about Larry Vervynckt... my first thought being that if things are really that bad for him (and he seems to have placed himself in the position of spokesmen for all other EDS frontline people), is... Why are they still there?

I am not defending him, as I don't believe he needs it... but Dick Brown is an intelligent and quite competent person.  He doesn't put up with appearances, and I would really be surprised if he tolerated any "yes persons" as his direct reports.

I worked at an EDS shop as a contractor for 10 months or so.  I looked forward to his weekly "science fiction" memos, and they contained a great deal of wisdom.  But it is true, that most of the frontline people didn't read them, and found it funny.  He also produced a book, about EDS and his objectives - the frontline people didn't read it either.  I obtained a copy from my manager and found it to be fascinating reading.  Dick Brown is also well aware that EDS middle management is the largest hurdle.

Unfortunately, the EDS frontline people I met do think like Larry Vervynckt.  The CEO is directly responsible for everyone's problems.  The "problems" smack of protectionism (for lack of a better word) - I am too stressed out, I want job security, I want raises... I want, I want, I want, and it is your job Mr. CEO to give them to me.

Dick Brown inherited a company with a really lousy corporate culture.  The "old" EDS stressed "obedience to authority" and I have seen enough frontlines automatically place themselves into "asskissing mode" when management walks by, that it made me sick.  I have heard them agree to plain stupidity, give themselves unrealistic due dates, all the while pretending to be so friendly only to stab their management in the back when they were gone.

If you refuse to take responsibility for yourself and your situation, there ain't nobody that is going to do it for you. 

You can place the blame anywhere you want, and you will probably get thousands of your fellow widgets to agree with you, but the blame is all misplaced. 

Ok, my rant is over.

Joe AA.
Monday, July 01, 2002

For those interested:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2003/pdf/budget.pdf

By The Numbers
Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Anyone on a slow link, be warned that budget.pdf link is only 22.7MB.  If you are really interested in the US budget proposal for 2003... download it first.

Joe AA.
Wednesday, July 03, 2002

For those that still think the H1B issue, is purely fringe crack pots making noise, enjoy the following:

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,299782,00.asp

By The Numbers
Wednesday, July 03, 2002

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