Saturday, April 01, 2006

Infosys and Tata File Fraudulent LCAs

Tata Consultancy Services Limited
Programmer Analyst
Application=Certified
Immigrants=10
Salary=$17,098

Infosys Technologies Ltd.
Programmer Analyst
Application=Certified
Immigrants=100
Salary=$19,029

Source: 2005 LCA Database; Department of Labor - Approved applications

Infosys and Tata are the ONLY major technology companies certified by the DOL for salaries paying below $20,000 a year.

You would think they are smart enough not to file an LCA at this amount - they must have known somebody would make political hay of this. That will cost them much more than whatever savings they see here.

Please make sure everyone knows that these companies from India are using the H-1b program to replace American workers and offshore American jobs. They are helping to destroy high paying, high-skilled, technology jobs which are vital to our national interests.

The DOL is by law prevented from validating compliance with labor and immigration laws. They must rubber-stamp each application within 7 days, the only ones not approved in 2005 were because of errors on the form - and that amounted to 0.33% - not even 1% of applications were rejected by the DOL!!!

Tata and Infosys should not be off the hook for the lack of enforcement by the DOL. They are legally certifying with this LCA that they are paying prevailing wages - which clearly they are not.

These wages are not prevailing wages for any IT job requiring a 4-year degree in any part of our country. We must demand that the federal government investigate Infosys and Tata under suspicion of fraudulent LCA applications.

If found to be abusing the H-1b visa program they should be barred from participation in the H-1b program permanently.

5 Comments:

At 5:45 AM, Blogger Prasanth said...

Hi,
I'm amazed and find it hard to believe that Infosys and TCS show US salaries as $17000 USD and $19000 USD. Now, lets put that in perspective - 17000 USD in Indian Currency is about INR 765,000 and 19,000 USD translates to 855,000 INR which is way less then the salary I get here in India !!. I find it hard to believe that Infosys and TCS pay such pittance ( I know that they pay much more in India itself) as US salary and I do not think any one working in Infosys and TCS will be willing to travel to US on such salaries so in my opinion something is not right about those figures. May be those figures are for "per month" and not for "per year"
;)

Regards,
Prasanth

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger R. Lawson said...

They probably do pay more than that. The point I am making is that the Department of Labor is approving LCAs which are clearly below prevailing wage. As you state, less than what you are making in your home country.

In short, the DOL is not doing their jobs - which is to protect American workers from companies who pay too little. I believe that Tata is paying less than most companies (though more than $19000 USD), but unfortunately that can't be proven because the USCIS won't release the real figures. Anyone can file an LCA - the data for people who actually are issued a visa is withheld.

I understand the privacy concerns, but there is non-private demographic data that should be released like occupation, wage, region, company, etc. We can't make informed decisions regarding this if we don't have adequate information.

Just curious, what would you say the average software engineer and programmer salaries are now? I know they keep going up so tough to keep track.

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger Prasanth said...

Hi,

When I started working fresh out of university (I'm an Electronics Engineer) back in 1997, I was getting paid INR 48000 per annum which is about 1067 US Dollars. Now I get paid about INR 1.2 Million per annum which is about 26,000 USD - a pretty good salary especially on a Purchasing Power Parity basis.

On an average, now a days, a newly minted graduate ( 4 year degree) will get a starting salary anywhere between 4500 to 7500 USD. Also keep in mind that percentage increase per year is very high.

One of the issues that Indian companies are facing is the huge manpower shortage which is pushing the wages higher and higher. There is a lot of quantity but not much quality. My employer has been struggling to recruit quality people - I 'm part of the selection team and I end up rejecting 80 % of the applications because of poor quality of people. So, do not believe the media when they say that more Engineers graduate from Indian universities than US. Quality still is pretty dismal.

Regards,

Prasanth

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger R. Lawson said...

That is interesting to know. I don't focus on the experience of Indian software professionals. I personally don't feel comfortable making a blanket that "group A is smarter or better than group B".

A market based system could decide qualifications on an individual basis - and only the most qualified would get selected for visas. Salary and how much a company is willing to pay is a good indicator of qualifications so if we truly want the "best and brightests" the visas should go to the highest paid.

This would equate to more doctors and less entry level java coders.

As far as your pay I could not live here on 26000 USD, but I bet that is extremely good in India. Glad to hear your pay is going up, but most likely companies will just look for another country to move work to where salaries are lower. My argument against offshoring (in current form) is that it is a race to the bottom. Why destroy good jobs in one country, and move down the chain?

Offshore services need to be tarriffed. That could better equalize things. I don't mind competing globally but it would be better if the playing field were more even. Fortunately for offshore development work leaving the US, I think that things are coming back some because it doesn't work for all situations. It was almost a fad to send work offshore - not enough thought behind the decision. It won't all come back but maybe it will be a more intelligent process.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Prasanth said...

Most of the Indian companies realize that as wages rise in India, work will start moving to other relatively cheaper countries and are now scrambling to set up development/support centers in those countries. Though this is a concern, it is not a very serious concern in my opinion. The wages in India will stabilize and annual percentage increases will be much less than what we have seen till now. This is mainly because the number of people working in the IT and ITES fields is a minuscule percentage of the total Indian population. There is a vast section of people who still live a hand to mouth existence and as these people get more educated, they will look for better avenues and will be more willing to work for lower wages thus increasing supply and reducing demand and directly impacting wage inflation.

The current high demand and consequent wage increases is basically because the education infrastructure in the country not able to cope up with the demand made on it. After all, the current education system is a product of the socialist economy.

However, this is slowly changing (In India, every reform or policy change is slow – price of being a democracy where every one can freely express their opinion unlike you know who). Education reform is happening slowly and given time, will catch up with the real world.

So, what I see happening is that while some work will move away from India, a lot of work will remain right here - with more high end work being done at the top of the scale and a lot of commodity work done at the bottom.

 

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