Tags: Disney | tech jobs | foreign workers | Bob Iger

Disney Slammed for Flying in Foreigners to Replace US Workers

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 11:23 AM

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is under fire after firing many of its IT workers, only to replace them with foreign workers, Computerworld magazine reported.

Citing interviews with staff members who had lost their jobs, Computerworld reported on the changes as a debate continues over expansion of H1-B Visas that allow more foreign workers inside the U.S. for certain science and technology fields.

While Disney told the "well-paid and longtime" workers they cut that they could re-apply for new jobs within the company, few ever were rehired, the magazine said. Instead, Disney turned to contractors who staff those IT jobs with foreign labor, "mostly from India," in a move that those laid off said was all about saving money, Computerworld said.

"Some of these folks were literally flown in the day before to take over the exact same job I was doing," said one former Disney IT worker. Worse still, the fired worker said he was required to train his replacement, who came from India — an anger-inspiring task — "on site, in our country."

Disney Parks and Resorts CIO Tilak Mandadi, in a leaked memo, described the changes, Computerworld said, noting about 135 workers lost their jobs in the swap.

"To enable a majority of our team to shift focus to new capabilities, we have executed five new managed services agreements to support testing services and application maintenance.

"Last week, we began working with both our internal subject matter experts and the suppliers to start transition planning for these agreements. We expect knowledge transfer to start later this month and last through January. Those Cast Members (the name Disney calls its workers) who are involved will be contacted in the next several weeks."

Disney's CEO Bob Iger is a co-chairman of the Partnership for a New America group, which is seeking increases in the nation's H1-B Visa cap, which is under debate in Congress.

So-called "high-skilled" Visa applications in the U.S. have hit a record high, CNN reported, rising from 172,500 in 2014 to 233,000 this year. The U.S. caps them at 85,000, but new legislation, including the I-Squared Act, which is under discussion in Congress, seeks to increase them to 195,000 annually.

Meanwhile, a group of senators is seeking a probe into companies they fear are firing U.S. workers and hiring foreigners to cut costs.

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is under fire after firing many of its IT workers, only to replace them with foreign workers, Computerworld magazine reported.
Disney, tech jobs, foreign workers, Bob Iger
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2015-23-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 11:23 AM
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