India: NCU calls for NASSCOM to address H1B visa charges
President Trump’s recent Executive Order aimed at protecting the American industry has flagged Indian information technology services firms for “unfairly” cornering the lion's share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system. Indian media has picked up on this issue and interviewed Bro. Prasad, Chairman/President and Bro. Karthik Shekhar, General Secretary of the National Confederation of UNITES (NCU). The NCU was founded in November 2014 to protect the workers in IT/ITES in India. Bro. Prasad and Bro. Shekar both spoke up about the need for National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to be accountable for this alarming accusation. For more details, see this story originally published online below:
H1B visa row: Charges against Indian IT firms must be probed, says NCU
Bengaluru April 25, 2017
The National Confederation of Unites (NCU) on Tuesday said the Competition Authority of India (CAI) should look into the US government's accusation that top Indian IT firms are "unfairly" cornering the lion's share of H¬1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system.
The CAI should probe the allegations since the voices of IT employees are not heard by Nasscom and IT companies, NCU Chairman JSR Prasad said. The NCU, founded to protect the workers in IT/ITES in India, is a registered National Federation that supports IT/ITES workers in different states.
"CAI should probe the allegations and tell whether these companies (Infosys and TCS) have done something wrong or something right..." he said.
On Monday, Nasscom had come out in defence of its members, TCS and Infosys, saying the two accounted for only 8.8 per cent of the approved H1B visas in 2014¬15. Nasscom had also contended that the average wage for visa holders is over 82,000 US dollars, apart from a fixed cost of about $15,000 incurred for each visa issued (including, visa cost and related expenses).
Prasad also alleged that Nasscom has failed to take cognisance of the allegations made by the Donald Trump administration and to take appropriate action to protect the image and reputation of Indian IT companies.
Critics believe that the prevailing visa regime allows companies to bring in "cheap" labour from countries like India, which adversely impacts local employment opportunities. The Trump administration had also said that the H¬1B visas are awarded through a random lottery with about 80 per cent of H¬1B workers being paid less than the median wage in their fields.
NCU General Secretary Karthik Shekhar also said, "Nasscom also should be blamed for US administration's allegations against our top IT companies for putting extra tickets in a lottery system to corner the lion's share of H¬1B visas."
"If these companies were to do it, they should have red¬flagged them," he added. Shekhar, who is a former IT professional and a film producer, urged IT professionals working in the US to comeback to India where there are immense opportunities including, startups lying for them to be picked up.
"US was the country where people used to go to grab opportunities. Now let us replace it with India. Come back to tap opportunities lying around," he said. "Do startups... Don't worry about Nasscom and people belonging to companies against whom the Trump administration has levelled allegations," he added.
(Source: Business Standard, 25 April 2017, http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/h-1b-visa-row-charges-against-indian-it-firms-must-be-probed-says-ncu-117042500599_1.html)