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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers 220

dcblogs writes: "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn't said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE's management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE's IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that 'employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.'"
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California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

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  • IMPOSSIBLE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:20PM (#46791599) Journal

    H1B1 Visa's are only because there are not enough applicants to fill a position. Just ask any republican and they will tell you and set the facts straight in interest of protecting the workers.

    It is illegal not to pay an H1B1 Visa worker less than a qualified worker. It is stated so it must be true!

  • Tech workers only? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:21PM (#46791603)
    Are the management jobs safe because they provide such incredible expertise and knowledge that can only come from white people?
  • H-1B or offshore? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:21PM (#46791607)

    If you offshore a position, it is in India (for example) and you don't need an H1-B visa.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:22PM (#46791621)

    This is an outrage! Companies outsourcing jobs overseas! Management is concerned about perception rather than substance!

    What fucking decade are we living in here folks?!? This isn't news but it is confirmation that US companies are full of douche bags.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:29PM (#46791665) Journal
    Southern California Edison has collectively determined that it is impossible to change the work atmosphere from the top down,

    so they'll be needing to import some workers who are better suited to the type of shop they run:

    Work the hands like a rented mule.

  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:31PM (#46791683) Homepage

    The labor market is a market. They have labor to supply.
    Borders don't keep the jobs in any more than they keep people out.

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:32PM (#46791689)

    First, we lost manufacturing jobs.... Then the engineering jobs started going off shore. So why are we surprised when the IT jobs do too?

    I feel for the youngsters coming out of college with a STEM degree these days. Huge student loan debt and fewer and fewer prospects..

  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:35PM (#46791715) Homepage Journal

    Under no circumstances should any Utility in the US be allowed to Off-Shore IT operations of it's Infrastructure to Foreign Entities -- doing so opens up the possibility of access being given to enemies of the US or US-based interests by employees of the IT company or by the IT company itself if it comes under the influence or control of enemies of the US.

    The ability to fuck with the infrastructure providing power to all of Southern California is a capability no one should be able to hand over to foreign nationals. The Federal Government needs to shove their foot right up the collective asses of Cal Eds Senior Management and Board.

  • by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:40PM (#46791755)
    As an interesting aside, should 'utilities' providing critical infrastructure be subject to more stringent hiring requirements?

    Similar to how national security jobs require a gov't clearance, should workers on critical infrastructure require similar concept of vetting?
  • Unions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:47PM (#46791797)
    Organization (via Unions) is the only solution I can think of to this. Sure, we could call it something else, but it's basically Unions.

    Un-Organized workers are too weak to demand or get better wages or a better way of life. Life basically stunk for everyone but a few kings thousands of years. It still stinks if you're not in one of the countries with a strong, well organized pool of labor that has solidarity. Sure, a few on /. might "Got Mine, FU" right now. But the powers that be are coming for you too....
  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:00PM (#46791877) Homepage

    I have to pay my mortgage now. I can't afford to wait for your utopia.

  • What benefits? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:00PM (#46791885)
    Free trade is great if you're a rich capitalist (e.g. someone that makes their living by owning capital). What about the rest of us? There's plenty of evidence to show NAFTA has been a disaster for everyone on both sides of the boarder except a few wealthy factory owners. Google a little and you won't find much to encourage you.

    Karl Marx predicted that capital flowing to where labor was cheapest would result in a race to the bottom, but all anyone can remember about him is that a couple famous dictators happen to use his books for their rhetoric. Not that it's hard to predict that.
  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:12PM (#46791975)

    Which is exactly why an Indian commerce minister referred to the H-1B as the "outsourcing visa". It's not an either/or situation - the H-1B visa helps enable outsourcing/offshoring.

  • Re:IMPOSSIBLE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:13PM (#46791991)

    The problem is that the race to the bottom has began, and I doubt it will end until we hit it. If it is cheaper to pay someone else to do the job, be it in another state, another country, or simply to ship in the workers they are going to do it, and if they can't do it, they will try to move the job itself to that other country or other state. Heck if they are just moving jobs to other states they can just call it a reorg and not even get any bad press about it, even though the key purpose was to surplus all those pesky highly paid workers who had devoted much of their lives to a particular company. The guys in charge are betting they can improve the balance sheet while they are there, then get a nice bonus for it, and if it all falls apart later, well they are likely gone or retired by then, so its not their problem.

    Sure you could setup sane rules to minimize it, but it is not easy, or at least the politicians make it more difficult than it needs to be. For instance, if the country that your buying all this stuff from has poor environmental laws, well then that country is basically not charging what is required to clean up their own mess, so the logical thing to do is to tarrif it in a measured way so at least society can somewhat deal with the mess later, or at the very least make the playing field a touch more level. At any rate, the reason the United States can't compete with manufacturing/labor/etc is as much as anything about the unlevel playing field. We find rules about safe working conditions and pollution to be a good thing, but hapilly ignore that others are less concerned with such things if we can buy a $200 television.

    The other common thing about jobs these days is companies have little loyalty to their employees, so of course their employees have little loyalty to the company either. This leads to companies always asking for employees that are tailor fit for a very obscure job, which of course they often can't find, since that job may be brand new and short term. So the company does a token search, fails to find the non existent expert on widget series 12 when combined with gear series 13 and 20 years experience with the new fad computer language that has only been out five, and of course concludes that it is H-1B time. Sure the employee may be even less skilled than those that were actually available, but hey he or she is cheap and leashed directly to the company of interest so they will spend some effort training him or her. Perhaps in the end they saved no actual money due to all the project delays, but they did save money on paper initially, and that is what is most important.

  • Re:What benefits? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:19PM (#46792025)
    The huge world out there that isn't already part of the developed world is doing well.

    Karl Marx predicted that capital flowing to where labor was cheapest would result in a race to the bottom

    One of the many things he missed is that it raises the bottom greatly in the process.

  • Re:IMPOSSIBLE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:24PM (#46792049)

    If only there were organized groups of laborers that were able to band together to protect each others rights.

  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @07:32PM (#46792093)

    Nice try at a slur. There is nothing new, unusual, un-Constitutional or unreasonable about requiring that vital functions in the US be performed by US based entities.

  • by rk ( 6314 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @08:10PM (#46792261) Journal

    Until that day comes, I will refer to globalization with a more accurate name: "neo-feudalism".

  • by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @09:14PM (#46792551)

    Shouldn't that be illegal?

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27