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Fury rises at Disney over use of foreign workers

Patrick Thibodeau | April 30, 2015
At the end of October, IT employees at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts were called, one-by-one, into conference rooms to receive notice of their layoffs.

One of the laid off workers believed there were other ways for Disney to achieve its goals.

"There is no need to have any type of foreigners, boots on the ground, augmenting any type of perceived technological gap," said one worker. "We don't have one, first off."

Workers can be trained, because "once you are in the system and you are a learner, you are a learner for life in IT. You are going to constantly learn."

Kim Berry, president of the Programmer's Guild, said that "Congress should protect American workers by mandating that positions can only be filled by H-1B workers when no qualified American — at any wage — can be found to fill the position."

The use of H-1B workers to displace U.S. workers is getting more attention in Congress. In response to Southern California Edison's use of foreign labor, 10 U.S. senators recently asked three federal agencies to investigate H-1B use. But one agency, the U.S. Department of Labor, wrote back last week and told the lawmakers  that large H-1B using firms "are not prohibited from displacing U.S. workers" as long as they meet certain conditions, such as paying each H-1B worker at least $60,000 a year.

 

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