Tech workers plan protest against deal that brings India labor supplier to the state
STAMFORD — Technical workers have organized a rally for Saturday in Hartford to protest what they say is a “sweetheart deal” Gov. Ned Lamont struck with an Indian company that will result in job losses for Connecticut citizens.
The Connecticut Tech Workers Coalition is teaming up with a national group, Protect U.S. Workers, to protest a state deal that gives Infosys, which supplies tech labor across the United States, $14 million to open a hub in Hartford on the promise of creating 1,000 jobs. There is talk that Infosys also plans to open an office in Stamford.
Rally organizers say the technology services giant has a history of manipulating the nation’s visa program to displace U.S. workers with cheaper labor from India. Organizers include some of the 200 Eversource employees who were laid off four years ago, when the utility hired Infosys to supply tech support. On their way out, Eversource employees had to train Infosys workers, organizers have said.
In 2013, the federal government fined Infosys $34 million for abuse of the visa system for fraudulently bringing workers into the country. In 2017, Infosys paid New York state $1 million to settle similar allegations.
Infosys officials have said the Hartford deal is part of a company commitment to hire 10,000 American workers before the year is out, and that 7,000 have been hired so far. State officials have said the state grant money will be dispersed only after Infosys meets a set of milestones for creating good-paying jobs for American citizens in Connecticut.
But protesters say Infosys is like many other tech outsourcing companies operating in the U.S. — they use the visa system to fill jobs with underpaid foreign workers, and it’s time to fight back..
“In the same way Protect US Workers played a role in ousting Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder in the recent 2018 election, Governor Lamont is being put on notice that American tech workers want the system to change,” a statement from the Connecticut Tech Workers Coalition reads. “The rally is about putting American workers and American jobs before foreign concerns.”
The rally is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Hartford Elks Lodge, 34 Prospect St. in downtown Hartford. For information, visit www.cttechworkers.org.