One of the dirty little secrets of the offshoring/outsourcing fiasco in I.T. is the onshoring of workers through the use of third parties.

These mostly Indian firms contract with large companies to provide low-wage and low-skill programmers to work onsite. This is because day-to-day back office operations of tech intensive companies like banks require a physical onsite presence 24/7. These functions are not easily offshored due to the logistical obstacles of dealing with a workforce on the other side of the world.

The American companies want their cake and eat it too, so in order to reduce costs and have the labor onsite, they turn to bodyshops or Indian I.T. consulting outfits like Infosys,WiPro or Tata.
WSOCTV in Charlotte has a story how a local bank engaged in this process to avoid hiring American programmers.

In Charlotte, Wachovia Bank has contracted with a bodyshop called Synechron to provide low-wage I.T. staff in order to displace Americans. It is a win-win for the bodyshop and Wacovia. However, it is little more than indentured servitude.

The imported workers live in apartments, usually in close quarters. These guest workers are then trained by Americans who then have to turn over the systems to their replacements. Little is done to seek local talent, and the corporation does not get their hands dirty because the workers are in America with H-1B and L-1 visas and sponsored by Synechron. Synechron has sponsored almost 300 H-1Bs:MyVisaJobs.com.

The number of L-1s that they have cannot be determined. It is estimated that their workers get paid at 75% of the rate of local talent.

The loophole is that a Charlotte business can use third-party consultants to
find workers in other countries instead of hiring foreign workers directly.
Those consultants provide foreign workers their H-1B Visas, fly them to
Charlotte and pay for their apartments before sending them to work in a local
job. But because the Charlotte business is paying that contractor and not the
employee directly, it's not a violation of the bailout law.

...University of North Carolina at Charlotte labor economist Ron Madsen said while federal law requires paying the "prevailing local wage" for on-shored workers, that's often not the case."What I've looked at suggests that we're looking at about a 25 percent discount between the total cost on-shore versus domestic," he said.

The appalling aspect of this is that the H-1B and L-1 programs are designed to augment the local labor force, not replace them. If these guest workers are so good, why does an American have to train them?

Jeff said it's common knowledge within Wachovia that Synechron brought all
12 of those workers from India to take Charlotte jobs."Within my department,
it's mostly on-shored foreign resources, and the software we built is basically
being handed over to them," he said.
Even more stunning is the fact that the American workers who agreed to be interviewed by WSOCTV had to hide their identities to discuss the matter. Many in the I.T. industry are afraid to be blacklisted and their careers damaged by the cheerleaders for globalization that dominate the ranks of industry executives.

Is there a Mafia in the hi-tech industry that is consolidating their gains and committing occupational apartheid against Americans? This story would appear to suggest that there is. The programmers that are displaced are usually blackmailed into cooporating with the outsourcing efforts or they are denied their severance packages. The same thing happened at IBM.

I've seen this happen frequently in many of the big companies I've worked. It is deeply frustrating and unjust, and this practice needs to be stopped. My tax dollars went to bail out these banks, and then they throw hard-working, talented Americans on the street and replace them with guest workers with dubious resumes and generally inferior skills.


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