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Thread: Laid Off Disney Worker Will Tell Congress: ‘Disney Is Not An Anomaly’

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  1. #1
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    Laid Off Disney Worker Will Tell Congress: ‘Disney Is Not An Anomaly’

    Posted By Rachel Stoltzfoos On 4:29 PM 02/24/2016

    One of the workers Disney fired and forced to train his foreign replacement is scheduled to testify before Congress Thursday, when he will share his story and plead with lawmakers to recognize it as part of a nationwide problem with the H-1b visa program.

    “This situation at Disney is not an anomaly,” Leo Perrero says in prepared testimony obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This same abuse of the H1B program is happening nationwide.”

    Perrero was laid off just ahead of the holidays in 2014 and then forced to train his foreign replacement on an H-1b visa, before he and hundreds of other IT workers at Disney in Florida left their job. He had been at Disney for more than 10 years and received outstanding performance reviews, and actually thought he was being called in for a pat on the back when his boss laid him off.

    “This year Leo was instrumental,” reads one of the reviews Perrero cites in his testimony. “Leo saved the company over $10,000,” another read. “Leo continues to provide value to our team.”

    Businesses say they need the H-1b program, which gives them access to temporary foreign guest workers, in order to fill jobs that Americans can’t or won’t do, particularly in the tech industry. But the program’s critics contend it was designed to give companies a way to displace American workers with cheaper foreign workers, and that Disney-style layoffs are happening all over the country.

    “This abuse of the H1-B Visa is not about a lack of talent here in the U.S.,” Perrero says in his testimony. “If our own pool of IT professionals were so incompetent- then why would companies like Disney and many others have us train our replacements, spend months teaching them and also why would such a low ratio of STEM graduates from college land a STEM job?”

    Nearly 75 percent of Americans with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees are not working in STEM fields, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, and only 3.8 million Americans with STEM degrees hold STEM jobs.

    Like Disney, Southern California Edison, Fossil Group, and Catalina Marketing have hired outsourcing firms that rely heavily on H-1bs and then laid off dozens or hundreds of tech workers, some of whom were expected to train their foreign replacements. In these and undoubtedly other cases, the laid off workers are threatened with the removal of benefits if they talk to the press about training their replacements.

    “I started to think what kind of American was I becoming?” Perrero says in his testimony. “Was I going to become part of ruining our country by taking severance pay in exchange for training my foreign replacement? How many other American families would be affected by the same foreign worker that I trained? Sadly, I choose the money over America.”

    He and one of the other workers fired by Disney have filed lawsuits in federal court in Florida, alleging Disney used HCL and Cognizant (the contractors who brought in the foreign workers) to knowingly displace American workers in an illegal manner.

    “My coworkers and I felt extremely betrayed by Disney,” Perrero says in his testimony. “They were going to simply cast us aside for their financial benefit. Later that same day [of the layoff] I remember very clearly going to the local church pumpkin sale and having to tell the kids that we could not buy any because my job was going over to a foreign worker.”

    In addition to Perrero, Ron Hira, a professor at Howard University, Hal Salzman, a professor at Rutgers University, and John Miano, an attorney with the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, will testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. Chad Sparber, a professor at Colgate University, and Mark O’Neill, chief technology officer at JackThreads, will also testify.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/24/la...ot-an-anomaly/
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    Laid Off Disney Worker Breaks Down in Tears Before Senate Panel



    by CAROLINE MAY
    25 Feb 2016

    A Disney IT worker who was laid off and replaced by foreign workers along with hundreds of his colleagues broke down in tears before a Senate panel Thursday while telling his story.

    (for some reason I'm unable to copy the video link from youtube so please click on source link below to view)

    “During the holiday season of 2014, I was sent a meeting invitation by a prominent Disney executive. With an excellent review in hand along with company announcements of record profits my mind buzzed with thoughts of a promotion or a bonus,” Leo Perrero, the former Disney worker testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest. “I walked into a small conference room with about two dozen highly respected fellow IT workers. The Disney executive made a harsh announcement to us all.”

    That harsh announcement, Perrero said, was that Disney was laying him and hundreds of others off. He would be without a job in 90 days.

    “Your jobs have been given over to a foreign workforce,” Perrero recalled the executive saying. “In the meantime you will be training your replacements until your jobs are 100 percent transferred over to them and if you don’t cooperate you will not receive any severance pay.”

    Perrero noted that the one “glimmer of hope” left following the meeting was that there would be new employment opportunities at Disney. That hope was quickly dashed however, he said, as he later learned that just four people were “directly rehired.”

    During the meeting Perrero said, he began to worry about not only his future but also the future of America.

    “Later that same day I remember very clearly going to the local church pumpkin sale and having to tell the kids that we could not buy any because my job was going over to a foreign worker,” he said, his voice beginning to crack.

    “I started to think what kind of American was I becoming? Was I going to become part of ruining our country by taking severance pay in exchange for training my foreign replacement? How many other American families would be affected by the same foreign worker that I trained?” he said through tears.

    Perrero recalled having to train his foreign replacement and the humiliation he felt at the task.

    “The final period of the 90 days was the most disgraceful and demoralizing, as we had to watch the foreign workers completely take over our jobs. And we came to grips that the upcoming Disney jobs promise didn’t exist. Then finally on January 31st of 2015 we were forced to turn in our company badges, laptops and then ushered out the door,” he said.

    Perrero noted that one of the only reasons he is able to speak out is that he has left the profession entirely.

    “The situation at Disney is not an anomaly,” he continued. “This same abuse is happening nationwide.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...-senate-panel/
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    Displaced Worker, IT Experts Rake H-1B Over The Coals Before Congress

    Posted By Rachel Stoltzfoos On 4:02 PM 02/25/2016

    IT experts and a displaced Disney worker who trained his foreign replacement criticized the H-1b visa program in testimony before Congress Thursday, just weeks ahead of a must-win Republican presidential primary for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio , who wants to dramatically expand the program.

    “We know exactly what will happen if Congress and the Obama Administration fail to act — tens of thousands more American workers will be training their cheaper guestworker replacements,” Ron Hira, a professor at Howard University, said in testimony prepared for a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest.

    The H-1b program allows businesses to hire tens of thousands of temporary guest workers in the IT industry each year. Its supporters, including Rubio and many prominent lawmakers, say businesses need access to these workers because there is a shortage of qualified American IT workers.

    Rubio signed a bill known as I-Squared that would triple the number of temporary guest workers businesses can hire on H-1B visas, although the Disney layoffs happened in his state. Disney CEO Bob Eiger has endorsed the bill.

    But Hira and other critics of the H-1b program contended Thursday companies are using the program to displace American workers with cheaper foreign workers, and that Disney-style layoffs are happening all over the country.

    Like Disney, Southern California Edison, Fossil Group, and others have recently laid off swaths of IT workers, and then contracted with outsourcing firms that rely heavily on H-1b workers to replace them, in some cases forcing the laid off workers to train their foreign replacements.

    Among a shocking review of evidences that there is no shortage of American IT workers, Rutgers University Professor Hal Salzman noted in his prepared testimony for Congress:

    1. Only about half of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates enter the STEM workforce each year.
    2. Only about a third of all STEM graduates are working in STEM jobs.
    3. The average number of workers businesses have laid off on average each year (176,000) since 2000 is more than double the number of H-1b visas handed out each year (74,000).
    4. The tech industry continues to spend nearly $15 million lobbying lawmakers in Washington each month.
    5. Legislation such as the I-Squared bill would allow businesses access to more guest workers each year than there are new tech jobs.

    The evidence that claims of a shortage are questionable is “overwhelming,” Salzman concluded after referencing these and other evidences in his testimony.

    “There should be a complete, unequivocal ban on replacing Americans with foreign workers,” John Miano, an attorney at the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, said in his prepared testimony. “There is no shortage of Americans (or any other nationality) with average or below average skill.”

    Added Leo Perrero, one of the laid off Disney workers, in his testimony: “We now have American IT workers being displaced by both H-1B visa holders, who are physically being flown in from foreign countries, as well as the growing use of foreign remote offshore workers. We are seeing a massive drain on job opportunities here on our own soil.”

    Republican Sen. Ted Cruz , who is battling Rubio for the anti-Trump position in the primary, has also pushed for a dramatic expansion of the H-1b program, but is now calling for a suspension of the program.

    Rubio was quiet on the issue after news of the Disney layoffs broke and maintains his support for the program, but is now calling for reforms to protect American workers. The I-Squared bill, however, does not include any of those protections he’s calling for.

    Neither Rubio’s Senate office nor his campaign immediately responded to a request for comment.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/25/di...fore-congress/
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