Source: Austin American-Statesman: Thursday, Sept. 15, 1994, p. A1 by Kirk Ladendorf, American-Statesman Staff
- IBM Austin contract programmers allege IBM is skirting federal immigration laws by using low-paid programmers from India to replace higher-paid American workers.
- U.S. Labor Department is investigating Tata Information Systems, Ltd., the employment firm responsible for hiring Indian programmers to come to work for IBM in the United States. Tata Information Systems is a joint venture between IBM World Trading Corp. and Tata Industries, India's largest business group.
- A California citizens group is suing another Indian company, Tata Consultancy Services, and computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. in state court. That case goes to trial today in California Superior Court.
- Under U.S. law, American companies can employ foreign workers on temporary work visas...but requires employers to pay the same salaries American workers would receive in comparable positions.
- Larry Richards, a contract programmer for IBM Austin, formed SoftPac, a group to protest abuse of temporary work visas: + Said two contractors who were let go for "budgetary reasons" were immediately replaced by Indian programmers. + Said the American contract programmers in his work area were paid $60,000 to $100,000 a year. + Informal survey of Indian programmers at IBM revealed they were being paid $33,000 a year. Tata spokesman Charles Wilson says some workers are paid more than that. + Documents files by Tata with Labor Dept say programmers will be paid $33,000 to $45,000 a year.
- IBM Austin spokesman Doug Delay: + "We pay the prevailing wage. We pay the contractor, and the contractor pays the employees. It's the same as we do with all contractors". + Said much of the repsonsibility for complying with immigration laws rests with the contracting company, Tata Information Systems. + Said eventually the workers will return to India to develop software there for IBM.