Durbin and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have been seeking changes to the program since 2007, but their efforts have been stalled by the larger push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Abbott said it contracted with Wipro "to provide certain IT capabilities currently managed in-house. The scope of the contract covers numerous Abbott facilities in multiple countries around the world."
Abbott said it is maintaining "the vast majority of our U.S. based IT jobs." The laid-off employees are getting a pay and benefits severance package and will be able to apply for other Abbott jobs.
"We very carefully consider all actions that impact our employees as we value their skills, experience and years of service," said Abbott, in a statement.
While it is uncertain whether Durbin's letter had any direct affect on Abbott, it is clear that it didn't change the planned layoffs.
"Durbin's letter got their attention, and the outcome was they are not going to change anything," said an Abbott IT worker who requested anonymity.
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