Carrier, Hertz Cut U.S. Workers; Some Jobs Going to Mexico, Others Likely to H-1Bs

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

February 17, 2016

February has been a bad, bad month for American workers. First came the totally dismal Bureau of Labor Statistics report which found that in January the long-struggling U.S. economy created only 155,000 jobs, most of them low-paying.

Then, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that manufacturing giant Carrier will, over the next three years, relocate 1,400 jobs to Mexico. Carrier is a major air conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems producer. In a related announcement, northeast Indiana-based United Technologies Electronic Controls also will move jobs to Mexico. By 2018, 700 jobs will disappear to Mexico. Little wonder that net employment gains in the U.S. manufacturing segment have been stagnant for months.  Carrier and UTEC are units of the Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp., a Fortune 500 company with $65 billion in annual revenue. Watch the angry reaction from stunned Carrier employees here.

More bad news came from the depressed IT segment. Hertz announced that it would soon lay off 230 workers at its Oklahoma City technology center. A Hertz representative said that nationwide the total lost IT jobs will “…be larger than 230….” Labor Condition Applications for prospective H-1B visa holders have been traced back to the Hertz Oklahoma City address, a strong indication that overseas workers will take the lost American jobs.

More layoffs and robots keep pressure on down-and-out Americans.

Despite the mounting data that Americans in blue collar and high-skilled jobs are constantly at risk of overseas outsourcing or foreign-born displacement, many in Congress continue to push for more workers, mostly through greatly higher H-1B visa caps.

Maybe if on one of their taxpayer-funded congressional out-of-town junkets, a robot checked in the legislators or delivered their breakfasts to them, they’d understand the harsh, shrinking labor pool challenges workers face. Savioke robots are in place in several upscale California hotels, and keep minorities, college students and part-time Americans from landing jobs with a modest base pay and gratuities. Although the money may not be much, it helps hard-pressed Americans pay bills.

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your legislators to support S 2266 to end H-1B visa fraud and abuse.

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