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Friday, February 29, 2008

Are H-1B Workers Getting Bilked? its not only them!!!

Are H-1B Workers Getting Bilked?

Overseas companies are accused of underpaying foreigners on work visas—and hurting U.S. wages.

I was surprised when I read the news on Businessweek, but I wasn't surprised at the fact the the companies are underpaying foreigners, but surprised that the US media and businesses were not aware of it or at least they are acting as if they were not aware of it. Its such a common practice used not just by the Indian off-shoring companies but even with big US and other western companies which bring their staff for onsite work. The practice is not just prevelant in the US but even in the UK and other countries.

Take the example of HSBC in the UK, the company which has IT development centers in the Indian cities of Pune and Hyderabad get hundreds of techies into the UK every year. When filing the work permit it claims that the company will be paying them in the range of £42K+ but the standard rate that everyone is paid is an allowance of around £30 a day plus accommodation. The total doesn't go above £18K+ a year. I understand that the companies pays taxes etc. Still the amount of money paid to these migrant workers is never even near to what is claimed by the company. It obvious that the companies are making use of some loopholes to get away with their acts.

The employees obviously don't complain for the fear of losing their jobs and also most of them feel at least something is better then nothing. Also considering that they are not well versed with the legal system of the foreign countries its expecting too much from them to fight for their rightful due.



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