Walt Disney World just laid off all 250 tech workers who were running the computers in the central nervous system of park operations.
The very next day, Disney hired immigrants brought in on visas to take their place, and required the now-former employees to train their replacements.
As Kyle Plantz of IJR reported:
In October 2014, about 250 employees were laid off and Disney used an outsourcing firm in India to hire immigrants that would work under a temporary visa, known as H-1B, for highly skilled technical workers. Some employees severance checks required they continued doing their job for the next three months as they trained their replacements.
Disney executives claim that the layoffs were part of a reorganization of the company and they opened more positions than it eliminated, the New York Times reported.
One former worker told the Times that young immigrants from India took their place:
The first 30 days was all capturing what I did. The next 30 days, they worked side by side with me, and the last 30 days, they took over my job completely. I had to make sure they were doing my job correctly.
The use of these visas, and whether they complement American workers or displace them, is currently under debate in Congress.
Critics of the visas say that they are being used to bring in immigrants to do work that Americans can do, for less money.
The Times reports that there are about 85,000 of these visas granted each year and theyre in high demand from technology giants, like Facebook and Google. They also report that tech companies repeatedly seek increases in the annual quota, claiming that there arent enough Americans with the skills they need for their companies.
This isnt the first time that a company has laid off employees and used an outsourcing firm to bring in immigrant replacements:
- In 2014, Southern California Edison laid off about 540 technology workers and hired two Indian outsourcing firms to get replacements.
- About 350 tech workers were laid off in 2013 from Northeast Utilities and were replaced by H-1B immigrants. The workers said as part of their severance they had to sign agreements to not criticize the company publicly.
American workers…getting he shaft, once again.