Damning New Challenger, Gray Report Destroys Tech Lobby ‘Shortage’ Claim

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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 9, 2016

In a recent press release, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global consultancy firm, wrote that in 2015 the U.S. technology sector – computer, technology and telecommunications firms – announced 79,315 planned job cuts.

John H. Challenger, the firm’s CEO, singled out three of the most active lobbyists for increased H-1B visa caps as nevertheless the leading job cutters, including Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.

In 2015, Microsoft slashed 7,800 jobs; since 2013, HP has shed 80,000 jobs. Computer firms announced a 5 percent layoff increase from 59,528 in 2014 to 62,191 in 2015. During 2015’s third quarter alone, Microsoft, HP, Intel and Infosys laid off 47,000 employees.

The Challenger report gives credence to persistent H-1B visa criticism by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley and Immigration Subcommittee Chair Jeff Session. Calling the IT industry’s shortage claims “a hoax,” Sessions has urged the corporations to hire the laid-off personnel of their Silicon Valley neighbors.

Some of the laid-off workers replaced by H-1B foreign-born visa holders, and not bound by nondisparagement agreements, are fighting back. Disney employees who in January 2015 lost their jobs and had to train their H-1B replacements or lose their severance have filed lawsuits.

In a related subject that may adversely affect American workers, please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your representatives to end President Obama’s proposal to give more work permits to foreign nationals than Congress has authorized.

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