Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The day man at the desk in my cheap hotel in London was an Iraqi Kurd, 15 year resident in the UK. He said he used to get £17 an hour, and now he gets 8. "It's the immigrants from Eastern Europe. I don't blame them. It's what happens with capital."  
In late May, about 35 technology employees at Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank, Calif., received jarring news. Managers told them that they would all be laid off, and that during their final weeks they would have to train immigrants brought in by an outsourcing company to do their jobs.

The training began, but after a few days it was suspended with no explanation. In New York, the immigrants suddenly stopped coming to the offices. Then on June 11, managers summoned the Disney employees with different news: Their layoffs had been canceled.

“We were read a precisely worded statement,” said one of the employees, who was relieved but reluctant to be named because he remains at the company. “We were told our jobs were continuing and we should consider it as if nothing had happened until further notice.”

The layoffs at Walt Disney World and at other companies have added fuel to a debate about temporary visas, including H-1B’s, that outsourcing firms use to bring immigrants, mainly from India, for technology work. The visas are meant for foreigners with specialized skills to fill discrete positions when Americans with those skills are not available. In the applications large companies must file for the visas, they have to confirm that no American workers will be displaced.

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