Chris Gregoire, at one of her Town Hall meetings in downtown Seattle, was challenged on the fact that she and 12 other governors signed a letter urging congress to pass legislation to raise the H-1B cap. Her response consisted of talking points that Bill Gates uses in his quest for cheap labor, namely that there is a severe hi-tech worker shortage in Washington State. Yet, a recent Duke University study shows that this is nothing more than a manufactured myth. This myth is constistently used when the corporate elite communicate their desire to congress for bringing more foreign tech workers into the U.S. More and more, U.S. corporations hire employees as contractors, or “Temps”, with limited terms in their contracts, instead of as full time permanent employees. Of course, the employee benefits for Temps, if any, are not nearly as good as for full time employees. Most of these temp positions (including the one that I am working in now) do not have any provisions for sick time. Some may provide holiday pay only after several months of service. Of course Temps are easily interchangeable with foreign workers that are here on H-1B and L-1 VISAs.
Gregoire also proudly points out that the current unemployment rate in Washington State is the lowest in state history. Yet what does this really mean given that the quality of jobs has declined considerably?