A history of decline of the U.S. Tech Worker
Perception is everything. If asked for a first impression, an average respondent might think U.S. tech workers today are highly paid, successful and well-employed.
They would be basing that view upon a memory of how things used to be. Memory in the collective consciousness of a Baby Boomer generation is of highly creative efforts that were the impetus for new and unprecedented industries in tech and many other tech-related sectors that provided opportunity for many to benefit in the form of jobs, education and a high standard of living.
To be a tech worker in the 70s, 80s and early 90s indeed was a gold ticket synonymous with a flexible, comfortable lifestyle. Along with that, vulnerable workers were perceived as the low skilled.
Fast forward to the present. What a different situation presents itself for U.S. tech workers as a result of the combination of unfair labor and trade practices, as well as the impact of the H-1B visa program.
Through H-1Bs, companies imported large numbers of foreign workers. They still do, at the price of transforming the job landscape so drastically that today the impossible becomes a shocking fact. Only 29 percent of tech jobs in California’s Silicon Valley go to Americans. That’s even with the high demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers.
Wage suppression and anecdotes of tech workers training the less qualified foreign replacements have now become the norm. Now it’s the highly skilled tech worker who has become vulnerable.
This is what inspires our movement to unite tech workers and pressure the federal government for visa reform. Please join us in the fight to ensure that companies hire U.S. tech workers first.