Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Banking Industry Abandons Former Employees for Foreign Workers

If the banking industry couldn’t get much worse passing out bonuses, redecorating offices and purchasing jets, now we find out they have applied for H1-B visa’s so they can hire cheap help. And what of all those people with experience who are out of work from all the other bankrupt banks…drop dead. AP explains:

Two senators proposed requiring bailed-out banks to hire only Americans for one year, after an investigation by The Associated Press showed that banks receiving the most federal aid had requested visas for thousands of foreign workers even as they laid off employees amid the economic collapse.

The legislation by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, would apply to more than 200 banks that have accepted the government's aid. They would be barred from hiring foreigners who hold special visas that are reserved for certain skilled and advanced-degree jobs."It is obscene and vulgar for these huge banks getting taxpayer bailouts to use the bailouts to throw American workers on the street and bring in foreign workers," Sanders said.

AP showed that the dozen banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for high-paying jobs. Even as the economic collapse worsened last year - with huge numbers of U.S. bank employees laid off - the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP's analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in the 2007 budget year to 4,163 in fiscal 2008. The AP reviewed visa applications the banks filed with the Labor Department under the H-1B visa program, which allows temporary employment of foreign workers in specialized-skill and advanced-degree positions. Such visas are most often associated with high-tech workers.

This was the one big story I watched Lou Dobbs for each and every night, no longer though, and thought was our economies ticking time bomb. Pray the amendment in approved for the sake of unemployed bank workers everywhere.

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