(Also some UC Regents who have close ties to UC Med decisions should be asked about this along with UCSF admin , not just Napolitano)
"Harrison was told he could stay on the job, get paid for four more months, and get a bonus if he trained his replacement.
Robert Harrison: And now I’m being told that I h-- not only gonna lose my job, but also have to train these people to take my job.
Bill Whitaker: Are you angry?
Robert Harrison: Pissed. That exceeds angry. I’m really not a violent guy. I love people. But I’ve envisioned myself just backhanding the guy as he’s sitting next to me, trying to learn what I know. And I was like, God, please don’t let them send anybody to sit next to me, to shadow me. I don’t want to do this. I really don’t.
“I think, for once, we’re gonna stand up as Americans and say enough is enough. We’re not gonna take it anymore.” Kurt Ho
Harrison and his colleagues staged a protest outside the Medical Center. His fellow worker, senior systems administrator Kurt Ho is losing his job too. He had just trained his replacement from India.
Kurt Ho: I think, for once, we’re gonna stand up as Americans and say enough is enough. We’re not gonna take it anymore.
Sara Blackwell: Thank you for standing up for what you believe in.
Their rally was organized by this woman: Florida attorney Sara Blackwell.
Sara Blackwell: This is about the companies making the decision that you are worthless to them.
She represents hundreds of U.S. workers who were fired and replaced by foreign workers with H-1B visas.
Sara Blackwell: When you tell someone their real reason for getting rid of these jobs is for cheap foreign labor that should offend everyone.
Bill Whitaker: They have to train the worker who’s going to take their job?
Sara Blackwell: Right. They are told by their company: if you don’t train this person in a way that we approve of them being trained, then you don’t get your severance.
The UCSF Medical Center is a highly regarded state-run institution. Administrators say outsourcing the IT jobs could save $30 million taxpayer over the next five years. That’s a fraction of the university’s $5.8 billion annual budget, but to Robert Harrison, it’s his job.
Robert Harrison: I can’t wrap my mind around training somebody to take my position. You know, it’s my livelihood. How am I supposed to feel?
Craig Diangelo worked for Northeast Utilities – now called Eversource – and was one of 220 IT workers replaced by H-1B visa employees. Diangelo says his replacement, a worker from India, told him he was making half Diangelo’s salary with no benefits.
Craig Diangelo: I didn’t get laid off for lack of work. I got laid off because somebody cheaper could do my job.
Bill Whitaker: So, to anyone who would say, “You’re anti-immigrant.”
Dawn Collins: No!
Jay Palmer: That’s a lie.
Craig Diangelo: That’s a lie. You don’t want to have any animosity toward them, because they’re looking for a better way of life.
Bruce Morrison: The workers being brought in don’t know anything more than the workers they’re replacing. They know less. And that’s why they have to be retrained or trained by the American workers who are being laid off. This is not about skills, this is about costs.
But saving money on labor was not the law’s intended purpose. Robert Harrison says the money saved can’t replace the dedication of his IT team.
Robert Harrison: So our jobs, they’re not menial jobs. They’re very important. Somebody’s child is laying in the Children’s Hospital fighting for their life, and they depend on us. I see parents laying up all night long in the room with their child who’s fighting for their life. And you’re gonna bring somebody in here that has no clue, has no sympathy, don’t know the urgency to make sure that everything those people need is supplied? Right now? It’s not going to happen.
Craig Diangelo says at Northeast Utilities the fired workers pressured to stay and train their replacements launched a quiet protest.
Craig Diangelo: Every one of us that would be let go had an American flag sticking out the cubicles row after row after row. As we were let go--those flags were taken down. I was the last person let go. I went in and I took the last picture. There were no more flags left. You have a queasiness in your stomach when you look around and you’re saying, “This-- this-- this can’t be possible. This didn’t happen.”
But it did happen, to Craig and Dawn and Leo and workers at hundreds of companies across the country. Former head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, now president of the University of California, faced a huge public outcry when she got rid of those 80 IT jobs at the Medical Center. She declined to give us an on camera interview, but stated publicly that the university, quote “didn’t use the H-1B process in the right way.” She instructed the Indian-outsourcing company to stop using H-1B workers.
But that comes too late for Kurt Ho and Robert Harrison. Three weeks ago they packed up – their final day at the Medical Center.
Robert Harrison: It’s gonna be a matter of time before everybody else feels the same burden, the same pinch, the same hurt that we’re feeling right here at UCSF. It’s a matter of time."
See CBS News 60 minutes coverage in full here
- Richard Blum (AGAIN!)
- Wm. De La Pena
- Gareth Elliott
- George Kieffer
- Sherry Lansing (AGAIN!)
- Monica Lozano (AGAIN!)
- Hadi Makarechian
- Eloy Ortiz Oakley
- Norman Pattiz (AGAIN!)
- John A. Pérez
- Bonnie Reiss
- Richard Sherman
- Bruce Varner
- Charlene Zettel
- Marcela Ramirez
- UC Regents Committees
- Staff Advisors, Faculty Reps, Designates
- Ex Officio UC Regents
- UC Alumni Regents
"If the University were a business, it would likely be the largest corporation in California."
"If The University Were A Business, It Would Likely Be The Largest Corporation In California"-Regents Minutes (2010)