As Microsoft announced plans to axe 5,000 employees,an influential Republican Senator has asked the software giant to fire foreign workers hired on visas — including Indians — first and “protect” the jobs of Americans amid the global economic downturn.
Dashing off a letter to the company after it recently announced its intention to slash the workforce by 5,000 over the next 18 months,the Senator from Iowa,Chuck Grassley,voiced concern that that this would result in American workers losing jobs and not the foreigners hired on H-1B or L visas.
“During a layoff,companies should not be retaining H-1B or other work visa programme employees over qualified American workers,” Grassley said in a letter to Microsoft Chief Executive,Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft is one of the major beneficiaries of H-1B work visa programme,which is mainly for overseas professionals.
Majority of the 60,000 professionals given H-1B visa every year are from India.
“Microsoft has a moral obligation to protect these American workers by putting them first during these difficult economic times,” the Senator said.
“I am concerned that Microsoft will be retaining foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American employees when it implements its layoff plan,” Grassley said.
“I want to make sure employers recruit qualified American workers first before hiring foreign guest workers,” he wrote in his letter.