Friday, July 5, 2013

Not Just H-1Bs That Silicon Valley Billionaires Exploit

Driving down wages of high-tech workers is one of the goals of the current amnesty legislation by bringing in tens of thousands of mediocre Indian and Chinese computer programmers.  While Google, Facebook, and Apple obviously have an economic interest in the cost of highly educated workers, there remains the question of why they support the amnesty legislation that is directed at low achieving ill-educated predominately Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants.

Well, the local commie cultural Marxist rag gives us a clue.  It superficially harkens back to the days when leftists actually believed their nonsense about the working class being organizing principle in the communist revolution.  Something long ago dropped in favor of race, religion, and sexual preference as the vanguard of the revolution.  Adherence to the principles of proletariate however were a mere fig leaf for the real vanguard of the proletarian, the person of color.  But it did educate the discerning reader on one of the reasons that the Pirates of Silicon Valley support the comprehensive amnesty rather than the Republican alternative of mass increase of H-1Bs.

SF Weekly July 3, 2013 by Rachel Swan 
Outside the Gates: Unions Versus Big Tech 
Google's Mountain View campus is a sprawling checkerboard of manicured lawns and fountains around a cluster of sleek, blocky buildings. A small fleet of yellow and green bikes provides employees with an easy form of transportation along the winding streets and paths, and many of them lay scattered in various corners of the Googleplex. Buses pull in each day, squiring employees from their high-priced apartments in San Francisco. During lunch breaks people take yoga classes, enjoy concierge services, drink artisanal coffees, and wander around wearing the latest line of Google Glasswear. A squadron of part-time security guards forms a human moat around the buildings, protecting the machinery inside. 
It's that latter group that Samuel Kehinde worries about whenever he visits Google. A tall, lanky Nigerian with a seemingly indefatigable work ethic — his cellphone rings nonstop on the drive from Oakland to Mountain View, and he always answers — Kehinde worked as a security guard himself after immigrating to the U.S. in 2003, and spent two years guarding food stalls at the Public Market in Emeryville. "We did not have a union, so we had no benefits, no vacation, and I only made $9 an hour," Kehinde says, citing the host of factors that led him to join the Service Employees International Union. After successfully unionizing his peers at the Public Market, he quit to work for the SEIU full time... 
But he and other SEIU representatives haven't gotten any Silicon Valley companies to sign on, yet. So while Securitas Security Services has several union sites in the East Bay and San Francisco, its guards at Facebook aren't unionized. The same goes for Andrews International, which contracts with Oracle. Guards at the Pleasanton campus have union representation; their counterparts at the company's Redwood City headquarters do not. 
In June, the SEIU ramped up its campaigns to organize security workers in the tech sector, on the heels of successful contract negotiations in San Francisco and the East Bay. They'd set their sights specifically on employees of Security Industry Specialists Inc., a Culver City company that holds contracts with three of the "Big 5" tech companies on the Peninsula: Apple, Google, and eBay. 
Union organizers accuse SIS of unfair union-busting tactics and poor labor policies. They say it keeps the vast majority of its workers on a part-time or "flex" system that prevents them from earning enough money to support their families, let alone rent an apartment in Silicon Valley. Organizers contend that because the company doesn't provide health benefits to most of its workers, it's forcing them to rely on public clinics or state-issued Medi-Cal. So in a roundabout way, the richest tech companies in the world are outsourcing their health care obligations to taxpayers. 
Kevin O'Donnell, who directs communications for SEIU, says that many employees on the Apple and Google contracts have to live in single room occupancy hotels in San Jose, because they can't afford housing. Others shack up with their parents. He knows of middle-aged security workers who still need roommates. 
"Our organizers have heard all sorts of housing horror stories," he says. "You can only imagine that would happen in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, combined with wages we see as low as $9 an hour. When you take those low wages, and the high price of housing, you're going to get people who live in subsidized housing, or who are couch-surfing." 
In other words, the same nickel-and-dime tactics that journalist Barbara Ehrenreich exposed, and other big-box retailers, is being replicated by the world's greatest innovators. Labor advocates say it's created a yawning and increasingly fretful class disparity in Silicon Valley and beyond. The wealth created by tech companies has raised property values enormously in both San Francisco and the surrounding Peninsula areas. A guard's $17,000-$19,000 annual salary won't pay for a one-bedroom in Menlo Park, or Palo Alto, or Mountain View, so most guards have to live in East Palo Alto or San Jose. In 2012, average apartment rental rates on the Peninsula hovered just below $2,000 a month, while median household income dropped below $100,000, according to the Silicon Valley index. Contract workers have an added cost burden of commuting to work, and they don't get to take the charter buses. 
The union believes that Apple and Google have the power to change this system simply by ordering the security company, SIS, to treat its employees better: Because SIS is desperate to keep those lucrative contracts, it will abide by any rules the tech giants set, union members argue. For its part, SIS has vigorously opposed the union, raising questions about its motivations and claiming it merely wants to have a wide sphere of influence in Silicon Valley. Although SIS spokesmen didn't want to comment on the record, they've provided a rebuttal on the company's website. They claim that the SEIU is targeting tech companies directly because it's failed to get workers to sign on.

Aside from the aforementioned Nigerian, we get a clue from the next security guard profiled:

The union has a living example of this disparity in the form of a soft-spoken, bespectacled 24-year-old named Manny Cardenas. He first joined the union in 2010, two years before landing a job at the Googleplex. Cardenas worked for a company called AlliedBarton, which posted him outside various tech companies by the San Jose Airport. A friend from a rival security company introduced him to a union rep, and Cardenas began attending meetings out of curiosity. 
Soon he would become an unlikely poster child. 
Cardenas, who lives with his parents and young daughter in North San Jose, has worked in the security industry for seven years. He took a part-time "flex" gig at Google last summer, clocking up to 40 hours a week at $16 an hour, enough to pay for groceries and gas, but not quite enough to support his 4-year-old daughter. Cardenas still uses his dad's health insurance, and his daughter is signed to Medi-Cal.

And it is not just security guards, a commonly contracted position.

Field explains that the practice of contracting hourly services out is de rigeur at most large Silicon Valley companies. "Big companies outsource a lot of things," he says. "Their security, their janitorial services, their food workers. They have a lot of temp workers helping do clerical work, as well." Indeed, two companies called ABM and Brilliant General Maintenance (whose workers are unionized) handle janitorial work at Apple and Google. Palo Alto catering company Bon Appetit holds the contract for Google's cafeteria, as well as the other large cafeterias in Mountain View.

Food service workers of course are predominately Hispanic, immigrants or the immediate descendants, and Kehinde is a Nigerian immigrant.  As one should know, free food, not just cafeteria staples, but high end food served 24/7/365 is now de rigueur at all high-tech companies.  It is a recruiting and retention tool for the higher end employees, and an easy way to fool even the high IQ elite.  Few realize that free good food is one of the ways Google and other high-tech employers convince their workforce to accept 60 hour weeks with no overtime.  Something that no self-respecting blue collar worker would accept, whether it be the lazy good-for-nothings from the UAW or a master plumber from United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters.  Predominately white skilled blue collar workers would never work a 60 hour week for a free sandwich.

There, of course, lies the issue.  The ever do evil Pirates of Silicon Valley don't just have a high tech worker wage problem, a problem they have with a mainly white educate workforce that they are currently dependent on.  With H-1Bs they want to break the white educated class.  But with the general amnesty they want to break the lower end of the working class, the lumpenproletariat, as well.   It appears that for the billionaires at Google, even the $20 an hour they pay to their security guards is $15 too much.  But that $15 is the labor cost that drives the Pirates of Silicon Valley to support amnesty for the Hispanic lumpenproletariat and an increase in legal family based immigration to the United States.  It is all about driving down wages across the board.  

Of course, all the billionaires of Silicon Valley keep threatening to move every thing off-shore.  The real question is why they don't.  The real answer is that low wage Indians and Chinese just aren't that bright and do not produce the ideas and quality that white workers do.  The other is that corruption in both countries would mean that none of the Pirates could keep any corporate secrets.  Absent the remains of Christian civilization's emphasis on honesty and truth, the Germanic ideal of group loyalty, and the Greco-Roman ideal of rule of law, high tech could not survive in the patently dishonest cultures of China and India, the corruption, and disloyalty that both those civilizations produce is not conductive to quality products.  Only Japan would offer an alternative to the United States, but it does not offer cheaper anything, only a more expensive everything, even security guards.  In Japan, even food service workers are not illegal aliens, nor even a first step on the economic rung, but a solidly middle-class position where employees work hard, but have all the benefits of a modern society.

In the end, the Pirates of Silicon Valley will not rest until the United States is destroyed.  The only problem is that the brainiacs don't realize that there is no where to go once they destroy this country.  Hubris is a bitch, but there is no avoiding her.  She is as relentless as the Terminator.

The alternative explanation for why Zuckerberg and his cohorts don't support the Republican H-1B alternative is just that the Pirates are all obsessed with homosexuality and just hate Republicans who oppose sodomy.  Which is an entirely feasible explanation.  The Pirates all have a certain homophilia.  Not that there is anything wrong with that...

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