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IBM IT Politics Technology

Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower 234

itwbennett writes: "Three U.S. tech worker groups have launched a labor boycott of IBM, Infosys and Manpower, saying the companies have engaged in a pattern that discourages U.S. workers from applying for U.S. IT jobs by tailoring employment ads toward overseas workers. For its part, Infosys disputed the charges, saying that 'it is incorrect to allude that we exclude or discourage U.S. workers. Today, we are recruiting for over 440 active openings across 20 states in the U.S.' Representatives from IBM and Manpower didn't respond to requests for comment on the boycott."
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Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @04:47PM (#47159553)

    Because IBM advertises on Slashdot and Slashdot Beta sucks.

  • by pigiron ( 104729 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:01PM (#47159689) Homepage

    Anyone who has worked for any of the three should know by now that they pay their IT workers about 20 to 30% of what they bill the client at best. Avoid body shops like the plague if you want to make decent money.

    • Not true... I worked at IBM as a contractor and was compensated very well.

      I chose to leave for a better job/ higher paying role with benefits. The real problem is they are using contractors for a huge part of the us work force but paying pretty good comp for them, so that they don't have to cover all the little things. Like benefits....

      I chose to leave after being the primary responsable admin in the group, who was denied a job in that group 4 times, due to "not hiring in the US at this time" their process

    • they pay their IT workers about 20 to 30% of what they bill the client at best. Avoid body shops like the plague if you want to make decent money.

      That's very short-sighted advice from my experience. I made truckloads of cash from IBM/manpower in the 90's and they made truckloads off me, the difference is they had to pay for everything out of their cut, accountants, office space, secretaries, coffee machines, taxi's, air-fares, air-conditioning,..... Bottom line is a large corporation like IBM is doing well if it makes 10-15% ROI, ie: from $100 revenue, $30 goes to me, $60 expenses, $10 split between IBM/MP. The fact that I got $500-600/day and they r

    • by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @12:49AM (#47162131) Journal

      Believe it or not, an employee's "cost" is not the same as his or her salary.

      While I have no idea if 20% - 30% is fair, consider that on top of your salary they pay:

      1. Benefits like health insurance
      2. Real estate -- that cube you work in isn't free
      3. Equipment, electricity, and utilities (like some nice fat internet pipes)
      4. Managers
      5. Support staff
      6. Software licensing fees
      7. Profit margin -- you didn't think you worked for the march of dimes, did you?

      I remember one project I worked on where my employer billed our client several million a year for three of us. Our client would often jokingly refer to us as the "million dollar men" when we came on site, and not so jokingly whenever it was time to renegotiate the fee schedule. However, our three salaries were actually a small part of the actual bill -- most of that was chewed up by things like equipment and software licensing fees.

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )


        Here in Canada, corporations match the personal income tax paid by an employee. Health coverage is not included, and the fees are increasing every year. But the biggest part of the pie by far is the liability insurance for a contract company.

        Good luck finding contracts as an individual if you don't pony up for liability insurance.

        • by msobkow ( 48369 )

          Oops. Sorry. It's not the personal income tax that gets matched, it's the unemployment insurance premiums.

          Still, when push comes to shove, an employee's "cost" is roughly double their salary here. And that's not allowing for corporate overhead like accounting, management, receptionists, facilities, etc.

  • Not very useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:05PM (#47159729) Journal

    American IT workers boycotting firms which don't hire Americans? They're not even going to notice.

    • They might notice if they still had any American IT workers.

    • by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @06:17PM (#47160387)
      Shure they will. "See, we told you there aren't any qualified American applicants."
    • Ya this seemed strange for me at first. But I think the real purpose is to encourage clients to avoid doing business with those companies. A boycott is not a stay at home and call in sick ploy, it's supposed to be an active event that can involve picketing a place of business or spreading information. I think that over time people have associated boycotts as being passive things that help them decide what foods to buy at the store.

  • "Bright Future Jobs, the Programmers Guild and WashTech."

    Who, who, and who?

    As of August 1999, the Programmers Guild had 400 members. [wikipedia.org] Mighty important organization there, if you can't be bothered to offer membership numbers from this century. Which, to be fair, looks to be the last time their web page look was updated. [programmersguild.org]

    As far as I can tell, "Bright Future Jobs" is one person Donna Conroy [brightfuturejobs.com].

    WashTech is a union. [washtech.org] No thanks.

    I suspect that IBM, Infosys and Manpower won't even notice their "boycott."

    • at least they're _trying_.

      And fyi, you owe everything you have today to Unions (that and the Cold War putting a halt on outsourcing). For God's sake man, read about what pre-Union life was like for all but the very, very rich. Just go read "A People's History of the United States" and go from there.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @08:30PM (#47161039)

      I know there are a lot of reservations about unions, but it is dammed if you do and double dammed if you don't.

      Without a union, you can watch all the jobs go overseas until the customers start to bail. Then you can watch them try to re-boot with "tiger teams" on shore, but only the leads will still be present, and the new on-shore teams will balk at the utter lack of code quality. If the on-shore team manages to clean up the code, they'll be rewarded by being let go again (for another trip on the merry go round).

      It's enough to make you want to join a union so at least you can benefit from the revenue stream you created.

  • A slight misdirect (Score:5, Informative)

    by rijrunner ( 263757 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:13PM (#47159819)

    I did my time at IBM and learned this the hard way.

    IBM does not favor hiring foreign applicants.

    What they did at IBM Boulder was simple. At the beginning of LEAN in IBM e-Business, they laid off 1/3 of the staff. They moved from dedicated support for a pool of resources. And, as a result of the class action lawsuit, they cut everyone's pay 15%. After a lot of people left voluntarily, they fell well below the level of staff they needed to keep things running.

    So, they decided to hire. Not regular employees, of course. Contractors. Only makes sense, yes? So, they opened up a number of junior admin positions at $12/hr. And a number of senior positions at $15/hr. When no one applied, they bumped it up slightly. Eventually, they were able to hire people in, but at a much lower rate than what the people who had left made. The nice thing about this from their perspective is that they also eliminated contracting companies that had things like paid vacation. (There might be a contracting company that still pays vacation, but I don't know what it is. There is one that still offers a small training budget).

    Nationality of employee was completely irrelevant.

    The color of the cog in the machine is irrelevant.

    Cheap. Crappy. Brutal. That is the IBM Way now.

    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:17PM (#47159877) Homepage Journal

      Yep. Been in Boulder IBM and had to bail after 2 years. The Cog thing was pretty scary. Managers would just come into a room and 'duck, duck, goose! have your desk cleared out by Wednesday". When they 'Goose'd our Interface to the Customer (2 days to be gone), I figured IBM had blown a gear or something and started looking for a way out. Fortunately found it just up the road and have been here for almost 7 years.


  • by ebusinessmedia1 ( 561777 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:16PM (#47159865)

    There is ample evidence that many American corporations have been actively discriminating against American Workers for well over a decade. This is especially true when it comes to STEM work skills. India, China, and Russia have been the main sources of off-shoring (and now, in-shoring). India is the absolute worst, with India's goovernment actively pushing for more H1-Bs because they would rather America hire them than India build proper educational and business infrastructure systems. Indian government is one of the most corrupt on earth (easily as corrupt as some of the worst African states).

    Want proof? Unemployment is a problem in America, and so are our sticky problems with immigration. Undercover of helping those immigrants who have so long labored in our agricultural sector, the American IT sector has seen fit to use the sentiment to help agricultural workers to create a Landslide of advantage for itself. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

    The H-1B fiasco has cost Americans **$10TRILLION** dollars, since 1975. For anyone who wants to know the truth, read on.

    One of the most respected technology pundits in Silicon Valley has this to say about the H1-B worker problem http://www.cringely.com/2012/1... [cringely.com]

    Here's an attorney and his consultants teaching corporations how to manipulate foreign-worker immigration law to replace qualified American workers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

    H1-B abuse if accompanied by other worker-visa abuse L-1 Visa (H1-B's are only the tip of the iceberg). There are more than 20 categories of foreign worker visas. http://economyincrisis.org/con... [economyincrisis.org]

    Professor Norman Matloff's extremely well documented studies on this problem. http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/... [ucdavis.edu]

    Federal offshoring of healthcare.gov website http://www.economicpopulist.or... [economicpopulist.org]

    How H1-B visa abuse is hurting American tech workers http://www.motherjones.com/pol... [motherjones.com]

    There is no stem worker crisis in America http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-wo... [ieee.org]

    Marc Zuckerberg and wealthy tech scions continue to perpetuate this trend http://programmersguild.org/do... [programmersguild.org]

    Yahoo http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs... [yahoo.com]

    Also, little known is the tactic of creating many different kinds of sub-visa categories to "fool the system". There are almost TWENTY different kinds of work visas. The whole thing is a sham and a lie, designed to drag down wages and keep from having to re-train Americans. Never thought I would see this day!

    Some of the information presented in the aforementioned links will shock most Americans, because American corporate leaders don't want us to know the truth, and they are paying off policy makers with contributions to keep the truth from us. Bill Gates, John Chambers, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, and many, many others - including the principals of the most prominent immigration law firms, who profit from this outrage, are lying through their teeth. There is NO shortage of STEM workers in the US!!

    • It's kind of a kick in the teeth to people who get a degree and/ or trained to get better paying jobs to further themselves. Get a degree and go into debt and then we will outsource your jobs overseas.
      The funny thing at least in India a lot of the people that are working for hardly anything are just starting out or don't have experience. Experienced people in India don't want to work for nothing either.
    • In order for business to not use H1B's means changing the tax laws that create this unfair enviornment that Americans are becoming more, and more unsupporting of.
    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      By the same argument then we should not be allowed to import foreign cars because it hurts the Americans who work in the auto industry.

      Similarly, made in China products should be banned because they hurt the American factory worker.

      And so and so on.

      Yes, allowing foreign workers in the US hurts the people in the tech sector here. But, you can't simply ignore the huge pool of people in India and China who are trained to be engineers. This is capitalism and the low cost of labor will put an enormous pres

      • The thing is that H1-B's are much better for America as a whole than not allowing this immigrant labor because the alternative would be more US companies moving off-shore.

        If they do tax revenue and the associated secondary business activity in the US goes with it.

        H1-B has some bad effects but the alternative is much worse.

      • > By the same argument then we should not be allowed to import foreign cars because it hurts the Americans who work in the auto industry.

        My "foreign" car was made in Kentucky and the wife's in Ohio.

  • The executives at Manpower must have done some reading and figured they wanted to be more like Manpower of Mesa.

  • Yay! Thank You! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:28PM (#47159965) Journal

    I've witnessed H1B-related shenanigans directly myself, such as forcing everyone to work without overtime pay at a big telecom company that rhymes with Ate Tea and Pea. The citizens tended to balk, but not the H1B's because they didn't want to rock the boat because their pay was a lot of money when spent back home. It's a lopsided mess; a way for companies to get more labor for less money. The "shortage" thing is lobbyist bullshit!

    • Why didn't the citizens narc out this illegal behavior? It may depend on the state, but afaik working without overtime isn't something you can legally "volunteer" (read: be voluntold) to do as an employee.

      Failing that, gang up and "educate" them. The labor movement didn't buy us a 40-hour workweek and basic safety standards by letting desperate scabs undercut it.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:36PM (#47160031)

    I gave infosys a resume for a friend for a job that required a degree.

    They bounced it back to me and said it needed to have her exact high school graduation date. Not the fact she had a high school degree. The date at which she was 17 or 18.

    It should be illegal to require a person's high school graduation date on a resume.

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      It should be illegal to require a person's high school graduation date on a resume.

      Currently younger people are not a protected class (at a Federal level) against age discrimination in the US. Only workers over 40 years old are a protected class. (Some states may have other age protections).

      • I don't think you understand. This was for a senior position that required a college degree and years of experience. It wasn't targeted at a high school student or even a recent graduate.

        They didn't want to know you had a high school degree- they specifically wanted to know the date the applicant graduated high school.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2014 @05:58PM (#47160209) Homepage

    Like Electricians? companies cant pull this shit on Electricians, if IT people would pull their heads out of their ass and unionize the problem would solve it's self overnight.

    • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
      That might work out for people threatened by it, but I'm doing very nicely, and under no circumstances am I giving up the good pay, reasonable hours, and decent PTO policy I'm getting. I'm sorry, but for me to join a union would set me back significantly. I know there are good and bad shops, but w/ unemployment for software engineers at under 3%, I have trouble understanding.
      • It's only a matter of time. Give it 5, maybe 10 years. Immigration reform means 300,000 new H1-Bs, and most studies show that for every H1-B officially given away there are 3 to 4 of those guys actually working. You didn't think they were sent home, did you?

        So, what are you going to do in a few years when 1 million new tech workers (all younger than you, cheaper, and who work more hours) hit the market? You'll do absolutely nothing. You'll be too busy keeping your head above water to. Which is exactly w
        • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
          I have no intention of remaining a feature developer; I've said to my boss and his boss outright that if they want me to only do feature work they should fire me and hire two younger kids for half the price. They responded that there's no way they give up the additional expertise I have. Maybe that will change in a few years, but I am constantly upping my game because of exactly the point you are making. At this point it's quite clear that experienced developers are needed. Maybe that will change, but I dou
        • by TheSync ( 5291 )

          You didn't think they were sent home, did you?

          I know an H1-B holder who had to leave the country with his family (and kids who grew up in the US) when it came to and end.

          So yes, they do send them home. Why don't you go talk to an H1-B visa holder...

    • Likewise, who are these "Tech Worker Groups"? Why don't they organize?
    • the workers are too spread out. It's tough to organize them. You'd need money, and after 40 years of outsourcing and declining wages nobody has that. Also with how bad the economy is people are scared to stand up for their rights. There's a reason they call it "Wage Slavery"...
    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )

      Take a look around here. IT folks tend to view themselves as self-sufficient, rugged individualists who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Unions are for the weak and stifle innovation, and every tech bro knows they're just one angel investor away from Going Galt.

  • Don't bitch at the companies, bitch at the corrupt US officials who allow the practice.

    • by Kr1ll1n ( 579971 )


      I get tired of hearing the corporation=thief mantra, and nobody laying blame at the feet of the security guard (AKA government).

      Bear in mind the security guard is hired to act like a security guard. The thief will always act like a thief.

      • by dwpro ( 520418 )

        We've allowed corporations to take over the process, and so our security guards are better described as legislators-for-hire. The blame belongs to citizens (us) for allowing the system to get subverted in this way and not voting out the crooks. We can still fix it, but the perverse incentives that exist will not right themselves.

  • "Today, we are recruiting for over 440 active openings across 20 states in the U.S."

    Today, we are looking for applicants, where the positions are in 20 different US states. Infosys says nothing about that actual applicants, just where the position is.

  • Am I the only one who was shocked that a major firm had only 440 openings across the country?

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"