In response to Governor Gregoire’s empty letter after she had promised me a “good job with a good employer” at the Town Hall meeting, I wrote this letter to Karen Lee, who is the person that Gregoire said could get me that job. I also sent a copy of the letter to Chris Gregoire. I sent both copies by certified mail to ensure that these letters don’t somehow become “lost”. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know what, if any, response I get.
The body of the letter is posted here:
Dear Karen Lee
I had attended Governor Chris Gregoire’s Town Hall meeting in Seattle on October 3rd where I had expressed my concern over her support for increases in the H-1B non-immigrant VISA cap.At this Town Hall meeting, Chris Gregoire told me that with my education and experience, I “ought to be working for a good company, with a good salary, and with good benefits” here in Washington state.She also said that you, Karen, can get me this job.I look forward to working with you on this endeavor, because I have found that the traditional method of sending a resume to a potential employer (that is not one of these body shop companies, such as Volt or Siemens) just doesn’t work anymore.Attached is a copy of my résumé for your reference.
I tried to explain to Chris Gregoire that due to the current levels that corporations are already allowed in bringing in STEM workers from other countries, I am finding it very difficult to be placed in a full-time permanent job that includes benefits such as medical, vacation, and sick time.This is in spite of the fact that I have a four year degree in computer science (BSCS), have over 20 years experience in information technology, have Microsoft certifications, and recently earned Master of Information Systems Management from a school here in Washington.The only jobs that I have been getting are W2 contract jobs through these body shop companies that have become so prevalent in our state in recent years.
Currently, I am working at a medical technology company in Seattle indirectly through one of these W2 contract companies.I work on software for a cutting edge technology device that is used in assisting Radiation Therapists in locating tumors during radiation treatment.Yet, I do not get any sick time for myself or for attending to sick family members.This was especially trying this year since my wife had come down with thyroid cancer and ended up spending over 2 weeks in the hospital along with several trips to the emergency room for calcium infusions.Not only do I end up with medical bills to pay, I end up with lost wages from time that I was not able to work.
Again, I look forward to working with you Karen.Chris Gregoire seemed confident that you can screen out all the fraudulent job ads and find me one of those good jobs at a good company, with a good salary and good benefits that she says are so abundant in our state.
Thank you for attending the Town Hall meeting in Seattle. Governor Gregoire appreciates the time you have taken to share your views on not increasing the number of H-1B visas granted to foreign workers, and she is pleased to have the opportunity to work on behalf of the people of Washington.
Views and comments such as yours give the Governor and her staff valuable insights into the important issues facing people in communities around our state. We rely on the messages we receive to let us know where we must focus our priorities. The Governor has made your comments available to her Executive Policy Advisors, who will consider them as the Governor works to move Washington forward.
The Governor also encourages you to share your views and specific suggestions with your state legislators given their role in proposing and passing state laws. The toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 offers a convenient way to contact your state Senator and Representatives.
Again, thanks for taking the time to attend the Town Hall. The continued involvement of citizens like you is critical to our state’s success.
Constituent Services Manager
Christine O. Gregoire
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?