Three tech advocacy groups, Bright Future Jobs, Programmers Guild, and Washtech announced today a professional labor boycott against Manpower, IBM and Infosys stemming from a pattern and practice of excluding U.S. workers from job openings on U.S soil. Indian tech advocacy group NOSTOPS is supporting.  The boycott will continue until these companies demonstrate employment practices that follow EEO laws prohibiting race, gender, age and national origin discrimination.
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  • Matt Thompson
    commented 2014-07-06 13:57:39 -0500
    The government has sold out to India. The complaint there is a shortage of qualified US candidates it’s not true. AND this ludicrous claim of 3-6 years on Java or ETL for entry level positions is ass backwards. That’s why when you go to college and get a CS degree you inherently already have 3 years of Java or whatever it is. It’s an unnecessary restriction on a job that doesn’t require anything but somebody who wants to learn.
  • John K
    commented 2014-06-25 02:19:17 -0500
    Maybe relax the qualifications, or raise the wages, or have some kind of guarantees that the temp contract won’t leave them unemployed in a few months. The one ad I saw via Twitter had a pretty specific list of qualifications, with 5+ years of experience, and a contract rate of $40 to $45 an hour.
  • Jeremy Locke
    commented 2014-06-24 09:15:17 -0500
    I have been reading these posts and articles and need some advice, I agree we should be looking for local candidates first but as a recruiter I hear everyday that I am too busy to talk or not interested in talking with recruiters. So how do we shift this focus from recruiter being looked at as a negative and promote us as trying to help US candidates? I have 10-20 positions a month as just one recruiter and I can’t find local candidates for these roles, please share with me how to gain the interest of these US candidates. And these are main stream skills (Java, ETL, DBA’s, BI) but they require hands on experience and normally 3-10 years of prior experience.
  • John K
    commented 2014-06-08 03:07:23 -0500
    I agree with Donna. It’s the concerted action taken together that is what’s important. Look at this action – three groups that come out of three really different ideological places, different politics, but with a good message, a good idea, and a challenge that should make everyone think about the value of work that we do, whatever it is that we do. Don’t work for Infosys, IBM, or Manpower.
  • Donna Conroy, Director
    commented 2014-06-07 07:47:12 -0500
    Unions aren’t the answer—the power of concerted action taken together is the answer. This is what unions represent in our minds. The power to act together is a human trait. Both the LGBT and the Black community are characterized by this ability. This trait was also exhibited by the Sherpas, whom, in a concerted way, withdrew their labor and walked off the mountain. The fear of concerted action by NBA players was a strong motivation to make Sterling sell the Clippers.

    In fact, technical professionals, exhibiting this trait, is what built the technology industry. Unlike other workers, we have worked across company lines—and geography—to invent and then troubleshoot the products our companies took credit for. This willingness to work in a concerted way is deeply ingrained in us.

    Our national effort—and the boycott of these companies—proudly recognizes our ability to work in a concerted way to solve problems we are confronted with.
  • John K
    commented 2014-06-06 15:20:31 -0500
    @michael – I work for labor. I’m just explaining something about how the established labor unions work, and why you can’t pin your hopes on these established organizations, and why workers in IT need to form a different kind of organization. It was more a response to the links and comments about the IAM site. (BTW, IAM was one of the early unions to try and reach out to IT workers and freelancers with the Cyberlodge, years ago. They were trying to organize DirectTV installers who are often considered ICs – this is a union that takes risks. If they’re organizing IT workers at a workplace – definitely join up.)

    The IEEE, I think, is a good org because they do lobbying. Yes, they have corporate money in there, but they also look out for workers interests in DC. I forgot to add orgs like SAGE/Usenix and CPSR, both established orgs. It’s important to at least get on the mailing lists, but joining as a member is more important because you can write letters to leadership to get them to take a position about worker issues. These professional orgs are what they are – but they are not the Technet PAC or the coalition of H1B advocates (as far as I know) which are orgs by and for the companies, and not for the employees or freelancers.

    And speaking of organizations – it’s important to support orgs like BFJ with money, so they can do these media-friendly actions, get on show and in the news, and lobby politicians.

    Also, if your workplace has a union, even if you are not a member, see if you can volunteer with it, and then use that as an opportunity to learn how it works.

    Join user groups. I used to do this, but have been lax on that point. Go to meetups, or start a meetup. Again, same story. If there’s an affiliated workers movement, and they have an event, go in solidarity with a sign like “techies in solidarity.” I did this with the movie visual effects group, and it went well. It’s an opportunity to talk to others in similar situations.

    I didn’t want to go really long about minority unionism, but that and worker orgs are kind of the same thing. These are organizations that form at workplaces to discuss workplace issues. When you do that, it’s called a concerted action, and is protected by law in a number of different ways. Some of the details are listed at coworker.org, and interesting “alt-labor” type website. Also, look at Alliance@IBM, endicottalliance.org. You can form a “union” of just two people and grow from there.

    So given that the big unions like CWA aren’t on a huge organizing push for IT shops, and given that there is no computer operator and programmer union, and given that there is a political division that makes organizing workplaces difficult, it’s necessary to take an eclectic approach and build up what you can, with what’s around.
  • Michael Aupperle
    commented 2014-06-06 10:23:26 -0500
    JK: your negative opinion proves that divide and conquer is still working well ! Professional organizations are usually funded by and mouth pieces for their corporate sponsors from the industry ! IT workers will continue to be divided and screwed until they wake up and unite.
  • John K
    commented 2014-06-06 00:44:36 -0500
    The unions in the US aren’t quite set up to handle the IT sector due to a few things, but there are things called “worker organizations” that have specific rights and protections that extend beyond the regular labor laws, and techs should look at forming those. Do it clandestinely if you need to. Join your professional organizations like ACM and IEEE as well.

    The main reason unions aren’t in IT is because they want a majority vote to organize a workplace, and that’s difficult to achieve with highly paid employees who have a libertarian ideological streak. They should be engaging in “minority unionism”, but they generally don’t.
  • Yun Hao
  • Richard Hajinlian
    commented 2014-06-02 16:08:06 -0500
    Michael. I checked out the web site. The site mentions that it is the Machinist union. My phone call went to voice mail. I will follow up tomorrow and post any information I find relevant.
  • Richard Hajinlian
    commented 2014-06-02 16:04:55 -0500
    I agree about getting away from our computers. I’m in the Boston area and accessible to the headquarters of IBM, Infosys and Manpower. Give me a date and time and I’ll help in any way I can.
  • Donna Conroy, Director
    commented 2014-06-02 16:00:12 -0500
    Yes, we need to get away from our computers and into the real world. we have some ideas.
  • Michael Aupperle
    commented 2014-06-02 15:45:29 -0500
  • Michael Aupperle
    commented 2014-06-02 15:45:29 -0500
  • Richard Hajinlian
    commented 2014-06-02 15:39:51 -0500
    Michael. I TOTALLY agree. I have no experience nor do I know how to join a union. Pointers? I can do some research on that to post.
  • Michael Aupperle
    commented 2014-06-02 15:27:04 -0500
    Unions are the answer for computer techs ! Join one now !
  • Michael Aupperle
    commented 2014-06-02 15:27:04 -0500
    Unions are the answer for computer techs ! Join one now !
  • Michael Aupperle
    commented 2014-06-02 15:26:01 -0500
    corporations are destroying USA from within !