Top outsourcing firms deluge the federal government with applications for H-1B visas, sidelining many smaller American employers, according to a story in Tuesday’s New York Times.
“The H-1Bs are actually pushing jobs offshore,” Ron Hira, a Howard University professor who studies visa programs, told The Times.
The Times cited Hira’s research, which found that the top recipients of H-1B visas for highly skilled workers include labor brokers based in India, among them Tata Consultancy Services.
This echoes some of the findings of our investigation last year, which reported that labor brokers had exploited Indian tech workers dispatched to some of America’s top companies, including Cisco Systems Inc. and Apple Inc. Not only is Tata typically among the top applicants for H-1B visas, but it also underpays and traps workers in their jobs, according to workers interviewed by The Center for Investigative Reporting, The CIR story, which also appeared in The Guardian, reported:
Global giants such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., part of India’s Tata group, also have made workers sign restrictive employment agreements before they leave India for the U.S., according to interviews with several workers and company documents submitted in court.
With more than 16,000 H-1B petitions approved between the 2011 and 2013 fiscal years, Tata has been one of the top users of the temporary visas, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services records. Tata clients have ranged from tech giants such as Cisco Systems to retail firms such as Wal-Mart.
In interviews, workers said Tata demanded that they pay penalties if they quit before their contracts ended.