I am a member of an “endangered species” – a white male tech worker born in America. I have been working as a contractor at a large tech firm for several years. In 2006, the workforce here consisted of a reasonable mix of foreign nationals. Most had been at the firm for years, paying their dues, moving up the ranks pretty much like everyone else. I don’t have any hard numbers, but I would estimate non-U.S. born employees at the time made up maybe 20 percent of the engineers, technicians, marketing people, etc.
Flash forward to 2018, and the mix has grown from the estimated 20 percent to close to 70 percent. Most of the increase has occurred in the last five years, predominantly by H-1B workers from India. There are also large numbers of non-U.S. citizens from China, Mexico and other countries. Walking through the hallways, cafeteria and buildings, you are more likely to hear one of the Indian languages or Mandarin Chinese being spoken. If you hear English, it is likely with a heavy foreign accent. We are constantly bombarded with announcements of events to celebrate Indian and Chinese culture and holidays. Anything vaguely representing American culture is left out entirely. That is the “diversity” policy.
A contractor like myself is always hoping and attempting to become converted over to a permanent employee to get a big bump in pay and benefits. It is well-known that contractors often do most of the grunt work for the permanent engineers without getting the credit.
In the past, if you proved yourself a competent, dedicated and innovative problem solver, you would likely be transitioned to a permanent employee. Now chances of that happening are close to nil given company policy to fill their permanent head count with H-1B workers from overseas.
So the local contractor who has been here for years is blocked by newcomers from foreign countries. Worse, the contractor often ends up training the newly arrived workers, because they don’t know their job yet. Meanwhile, management lectures the world about a supposed shortage of tech workers in the U.S. The company is even lobbying to allow spouses of H-1B workers the right to work – stealing even more jobs from the local community.
This needs to stop. Enough is enough. We need to stand up for ourselves against the greed of large corporations who care nothing about the local worker, much less the great country that America is. I was never much of an activist, but I support this movement wholeheartedly and urge American tech workers to rise up and make their voices heard.
12 April 2018