Pfizer's American Workers Training Their Replacements
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Pfizer continues to replace its American workers with H-1B contractors. [Pfizer Accused of Using U.S. Workers to Train Foreign Replacements, By Kevin Fogarty,, November 5, 2008] This newsletter has been reporting on the bloodletting at Pfizer for quite awhile, so this isn't new news. There are a couple of new twists worth mentioning however..

Item 1: Recently Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) sent a letter of concern to Pfizer.[Dodd and Courtney Express Concern Over Reports that Pfizer Will Cut Jobs in Connecticut] The letter asks the CEO of Pfizer some interesting questions but it does nothing to stop Pfizer from replacing its U.S. workers with H-1B visa holders. [Pfizer Trains Foreign Workers As IT Replacements] The reason these Congressmen can't do anything to stop Pfizer is because replacing American workers is legal. Dodd and Courtney are reduced to doing nothing more than asking questions instead of demanding that Pfizer stop what they are doing. It's not clear that Pfizer will ever answer the questions because they aren't legally obligated to.[Critic links Pfizer Inc. to overseas job 'scam']

Sen. Dodd's letter should not be used as atonement for his legislative history. He has consistently voted for H-1B increases as well as other types of guest worker visas. Dodd voted for H-1B in 1990 and since then has earned a grade of D- from Americans For Better Immigration for his consistent support of increasing visas for foreign guest workers. In 2004 Dodd sponsored a bill that would put some mild restrictions on offshoring government contracts but the bill died quickly. Since then Dodd has given lip service to protect Americans from unfair competition due to the use of H-1Bs or offshoring, while voting to make the problem worse. The letter Pfizer was great, but it would be even better if Dodd sponsored some serious legislation to stop the abuse. Don't hold your breath waiting for Dodd to really do something.

Item 2: A document called Procedure 117 is getting a lot of publicity lately. You can read it here:Text of Procedure 117[PDF]

Procedure 117 is definitely not a smoking gun. It's a rather mundane set of Pfizer policies and procedures concerning contractors. It's not very different than what I have seen at most companies who use contractors, and it gives no clue about Pfizer hiring H-1Bs. The document says that contractors cannot work at Pfizer for more than 12 months, which is fairly standard in high-tech and doesn't necessarily mean that Pfizer will hire H-1Bs, who are often contractors.

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