The Nielsen Company in Oldsmar, Florida is replacing some of its workers with H-1Bs that contract with the bodyshop Tata (TCS). Nielsen employees who lose their jobs are required to train their Indian replacements in order to retain their severance and pension payments.
All of this got the attention of city council members, but not in the way we would hope. Mayor Jim Ronecker [Email him] makes no distinction between the citizens who are losing their jobs and the foreigners who are replacing them — he only cares that more workers are coming to Oldsmar to increase the tax base.
His [Ronecker] hope is that as Nielsen consolidates its global workload, it will bring more jobs to Oldsmar—whether they are filled by contractors or not. "At the end of the day, in a couple of short years, we're going to have a lot more workers than we could ever have envisioned in Oldsmar," he said.[Nielsen gives up incentives from Oldsmar, By Theresa Blackwell, St. Petersburg Times, June 20, 2008]
Ronecker showed his true colors here, and it's not red, white, and blue!
"It's a global company. It's not all about America anymore, and we're right in the middle of it." [VDARE.com note: In fact,what Mayor Ronecker is right in the middle of is America.]
Eric Seidel's main concern is that Oldsmar doesn't appear racist, so he wants to roll out the welcome mat to the Indians who work for Tata.
"We probably should be very mindful of giving the perception that here in Oldsmar, if you don't look like us, we don't welcome you," he said.[ A softer tone on Nielsen, By Theresa Blackwell, St. Petersburg Times,June 18, 2008]
The only city council member to speak against Nielsen was Janice Miller who said: "That is just unacceptable!"[Nielsen layoffs raise concern April 14, 2008]
One of the perplexing things about this story is that Nielsen has been given $3.1-million in incentives to create new jobs in Pinellas County. Because of the uproar this controversy has caused, Nielsen has agreed to forgo receiving an additional $463,372. Apparently Nielsen thinks the company is coming out ahead by hiring the H-1Bs even without the cash handout by the city.
The St. Petersburg Times seems to be the only newspaper that is covering the story. Perhaps it's my imagination, but the first story was very hard hitting while each one after that got a little softer.
Some "Fast Facts" on Nielsen's reductions from the St. Petersburg Times [ Nielsen begins more layoffs, By Theresa Blackwell, June 24, 2008]