Former Disney employee: I was replaced by a "less skilled" foreign IT worker

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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

It was earlier reported that SGX has been outsourcing its IT infrastructure to India-based HCL Technologies to manage. The deal was worth $110 million (http://theindependent.sg/sgx-uses-technologies-from-india-based-hcl).

Under the agreement, HCL would provide SGX with infrastructure support and management services including SGX’s Reach initiative. The $250 million Reach initiative was supposed to “create the world’s fastest trading engine, establish a state-of-the-art data centre offering co-location facilities and seamlessly connect trading communities in global financial hubs to Singapore”.

But over the years, the SGX’s systems have been found to be problematic, resulting in the halting of trades and getting reprimands from MAS.

Steven Leung, executive director at UOB Kay Hian told Bloomberg, “Hong Kong may be better…I don’t remember when Hong Kong had such a suspension because of technical issues.”

HCL sued for displacing US workers, hiring their own native programmers

HCL is currently being sued by displaced IT workers in US.

In Jan this year, former employees of Walt Disney World sued Disney and two of its outsourcing companies, HCL Technologies and Cognizant, accusing them of conspiring to replace American workers with cheaper foreigners (http://www.hindustantimes.com/business/disney-hcl-cognizant-sued-for-displacing-us-workers-hiring-indians/story-nBmqJT3nNw7o7hDSFxRCrI.html).

About 250 Disney employees were retrenched last year. Their positions were then filled with staff mostly from India, provided by HCL and Cognizant. The foreign guest workers were able to work in the US under the H-1B visa, which is the equivalent to the Employment Pass issued in Singapore.

The displaced Americans said that they were fired after being forced to train their Indian replacements. The lawsuits asserted that the companies violated US laws that mandated them to ensure that when hiring foreign workers, the working conditions of “similarly situated employees would not be adversely affected”.

Displaced Americans testified before US Senate Subcommittee

In Feb, one of the displaced employees who had received the highest employee performance review from Disney, Leo Perrero, went to Washington to testify before the US Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest Subcommittee.

He broke down during the testimony, when he was describing the humiliation he faced in training a “less skilled” foreign guest worker to replace him. The following is the YouTube video of Mr Perrero’s testimony:
[fvplayer src=”http://youtube.com/watch?v=YSyRMtT0-sM”]
Excerpt:

“During the holiday season of 2014, I was sent a meeting invitation by a prominent Disney executive. With an excellent review in hand along with company announcements of record profits my mind buzzed with thoughts of a promotion or a bonus.

I walked into a small conference room with about two dozen highly respected fellow IT workers. The Disney Executive made a harsh announcement to us all.

All of you in this room will be losing your jobs in the next 90 days. Your jobs have been given over to a foreign workforce. In the meantime you will be training your replacements until your jobs are 100% transferred over to them and if you don’t cooperate you will not receive any severance pay.”

“I was completely silent during this meeting thinking how this was going to affect my coworkers, how I was going to break the news to my family and pay for all of our expenses? I would soon be living on unemployment, health care, along with other employee benefits would be gone. My coworkers and I felt extremely betrayed by Disney. They were going to simply cast us aside for their financial benefit.

Later that same day I remember very clearly going to the local church pumpkin sale and having to tell the kids that we could not buy any because my job was going over to a foreign worker.

Then I started to think what kind of American was I becoming? Was I going to become part of ruining our country by taking severance pay in exchange for training my foreign replacement? How many other American families would be affected by the same foreign worker that I trained? Sadly, I choose the money over America.

The very next week our office environment started to change dramatically. Everywhere I went, the composition of the company changed so much in the period of only a week.

The first part of the 90-day period was focused on capturing all that we did with our jobs. We all felt extremely humiliated when the foreign workers sat next to us and watched everything that we did. Everything was recorded with audio and video. Then the very next day the recordings were put down on paper and read right back to us.

We noticed that the foreign workers requested that we kept going over the same basic concepts over and over. How would they take over our jobs when they were so inexperienced and slow to grasp the basics we wondered?”

“The third and final period of the 90 days was the most disgraceful and demoralizing as we had to watch the foreign workers completely take over our jobs and come to grips that the future jobs Disney promised didn’t appear to exist. Then finally, on January 31, 2015 we were ordered to turn in our company ID badges, laptops and then ushered out the door.

How do I explain to my young children to follow their dreams and find a job that they love? I followed my dream of having a career in technology to have my very same desk, chair, and computer all taken over by a foreign worker who was just flown in to America weeks before.

We now have American IT workers being displaced by both H1-B visa holders, who are physically being flown in from foreign countries, as well as the growing use of foreign remote offshore workers. We are seeing a massive drain on job opportunities here on our own soil.

This abuse of the H1-B Visa is not about a lack of talent here in the U.S. If our own pool of IT professionals were so incompetent, then why would companies like Disney and many others have us train our replacements, spend months teaching them and also why would such a low ratio of STEM graduates from college land a STEM job? This situation at Disney is not an anomaly. This same abuse of the H1B program is happening nationwide.

How can our law makers allow this to happen to our country?”

HCL Singapore

HCL also has an office in Singapore at Temasek Tower, Shenton Way.

According to its website (http://www.hcltech.com/careers/apac-mea/hcl-singapore), HCL Singapore has garnered various awards from the Singapore government:

• Awarded the DBS Indian Enterprise Award 2011 by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) for making a positive impact on Singapore’s social economic development.

• Conferred with the prestigious Asian Human Capital Summit 2011 Award by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower and Switzerland’s INSEAD for innovative and impactful people practices centred on the Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS) philosophy.

• The Human Capital Leadership Institute (an initiative of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower and Singapore’s Economic Development Board) has also published a case study on HCL’s innovative and impactful people practices.

The website did not mention about the ratio of native Singaporeans employed in HCL’s Singapore office. It’s not known how many jobs HCL Singapore has created for native Singaporeans.