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SCE replaces 500 American tech workers with Asian H-1B visa holders

Darrell Issa (R-CA) is a major advocate of letting US companies import cheap skilled labor.

The H-1B guestworker program has laid waste to the American IT worker. The Federal government allows tech companies to bring people from Asia to replace their American workers. The Asian replacements usually work for a fraction of the going rate for an American tech worker.

The largest utility company in Southern California is laying off five hundred American workers and replacing them with workers from India.

Neo-Conservative Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is a major proponent of the H-1B program. He is currently co-sponsoring the “Skills Act,” which would increase the number of H-1B visas issued by the Federal Government each year.

When asked about SCE, Darrell blubbered that that it “appears to be an example of precisely what the H-1B visa is not intended to be: a program to simply replace American workers en masse with cheap labor from overseas.” Of course Issa is lying through his teeth. The mass replacement of high paid skilled US workers with low paid immigrants is exactly what the H-1B program is for.


Information technology workers at Southern California Edison (SCE) are being laid off and replaced by workers from India. Some employees are training their H-1B visa holding replacements, and many have already lost their jobs.

The employees are upset and say they can’t understand how H-1B guest workers can be used to replace them.

The IT organization’s “transition effort” is expected to result in about 400 layoffs, with “another 100 or so employees leaving voluntarily,” SCE said in a statement. The “transition,” which began in August, will be completed by the end of March, the company said.

“They are bringing in people with a couple of years’ experience to replace us and then we have to train them,” said one longtime IT worker. “It’s demoralizing and in a way I kind of felt betrayed by the company.”

SCE, Southern California’s largest utility, has confirmed the layoffs and the hiring of Infosys, based in Bangalore, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Mumbai. They are two of the largest users of H-1B visas.

The utility has a large IT department. In 2012, before any layoffs, it had about 1,800 employees, plus an additional 1,500 contract workers.

Computerworld interviewed, separately, four affected SCE IT employees. They agreed to talk on the condition that their names not be used.

The IT employees at SCE are “beyond furious,” said a second IT worker.

The H-1B program “was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill,” this worker said. “But we’re doing our job. It’s not like they are bringing in these guys for new positions that nobody can fill.

“Not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn’t already performing,” he said.