Walmart Outsources Accounting, Office Jobs to Indian H-1Bs

Walmart Outsources Accounting, Office Jobs to Indian H-1Bs

Walmart is outsourcing 569 finance and accounting jobs in North Carolina to Indian contract workers, spotlighting the expansion of the H-1B program from software jobs to accounting, healthcare, and design.

“We made this difficult decision following an extensive analysis that identified areas where we could best maximize our finance and accounting operations, further improve the speed and quality of our services,” said a Walmart statement to Breitbart News. The company continued:

We’re positioning our business to operate more effectively in the future and have said that from time to time, you’ll see the company eliminate positions in an effort to stay lean and fast as we manage costs. We invest in some areas and in other cases, we’ll operate more efficiently and work to change our processes and at times the work itself.

The layoffs will run to January 2020, the employees will be allowed to seek other Walmart jobs, and they can get a severance package, the statement said. The press release did not say how many of the employees have degrees in financing or accounting.

The work is being taken over by Genpact, whose Indian H-1B workers will join the army of roughly 900,000 resident H-1B workers throughout the United States. The firm is a spin-off of General Electric, and it uses cheap Indian graduates to transfer may U.S. college-graduate jobs to cheaper Indian worksites. According to the investor-owned firm:

Genpact began in 1997 as a business unit within General Electric. In January 2005, Genpact became an independent company to bring our process expertise and unique DNA in Lean management to clients beyond GE, and then in August 2007, we became a publicly-traded company. Bain Capital became Genpact’s largest shareholder in November 2012, with the strategic objective to grow the company further. Since December 31, 2005, we have expanded from 19,000+ employees and annual revenues of US$491.90 million to 87,000+ employees and annual revenues of US$3.00 billion as of December 31, 2018.

If the outsourcing saves $25,000 per person in payroll costs, the company’s myriad stockholders will gain $350 million in stock value because Walmart’s price-to-earning ratio is 25:1.

Many other U.S. software jobs have already been moved to India, usually by using the H-1Bs as the U.S. face of a larger workforce based in India. This job transfer offshore has dramatically expanded the U.S-India Outsourcing Economy and is freeing up temporary H-1B visas to expand the offshoring process to many other careers, including in the financial and healthcare sectors.

For example, in 2018, Goldman Sachs asked the government for 227 visas, JPMorgan Chase & Co., asked for 207 visas, Blackrock Financial Management asked for 129 visas, and Citibank asked for 59 visas, Overall, the financial sector asked to H-1B visas to import 1,604 accountants and almost 2,000 financial analysts.

Investors are also using the H-1B program to bring in cheaper healthcare professionals into the United States. In 2018, companies and universities filed 7,783 valid petitions for H-1B visas for healthcare jobs in 2018. That number included jobs for 1,894 physicians and surgeons, 1,681 biology scientists, 476 dentists, and 440 therapists and 112 pharmacists. The companies importing contract worker doctors, dentists, and therapists include Aspen Dental, A Caring DoctorAbility Works Rehab Services, Access Therapies, and Apogee Medical Group.

Many of these companies are lobbying politicians to help them import more foreign workers. For example, the Sanford medical group is importing H-1Bs for clinics throughout the Dakotas, and is supported by North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer’s S.386 outsourcing legislation. The draft bill would provide more green cards to Indian H-1Bs and significantly increase the incentive for young Indians to take low-wage contract-worker jobs in the United States.

In 2018, companies also asked for 5,153 people for “design” jobs, including 911 graphic designers, 283 architects, 243 interior designers, 110 fashion designers, and 386 commercial and industrial designers. The hiring companies include Abercrombie & Fitch, and 2.7 August Apparel, an L.A.-based company which asked to import seven fashion designers who would be paid less than $59.000.

These visa numbers comprise a large share of future growth in many professions. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 11,000 new jobs for graphic designers in the ten years up to 2016. But the requests to import roughly 5,000 H-1B graphic designers over that period would fill almost 40 percent of those new jobs, so flattening any chances of pay raises for American-born graphic designers.

The H-1B program is the largest visa-worker program, but it is complemented by the other white-collar programs, including the OPT, CPT, L-1, E-2, TN, H4EAD, and J-1 programs. Overall, these programs keep roughly 1.5 million foreign graduates in U.S. jobs. These workers are not immigrants but are contract workers, often hired in foreign countries under contract terms set by foreign laws.

Walmart employs several thousand H-1B workers, mostly in software jobs. A leaked video from inside a Walmart software center in Bentonville, Ark, shows many of the contract worker graduates at work.

In response to a question about the tweeted video, Walmart responded:

Walmart is proud to employ 1.5 million associates in the U.S. We have large global technology and shared service organizations that employ thousands of associates to support operations in 27 countries, including the U.S. and India. We are currently recruiting for hundreds of technology and shared service jobs in the United States across multiple locations.  Like many companies, our in-house teams are also supported by outside contractors, and we expect those firms to comply with all relevant U.S. laws.

It is misleading to look at one video within a Tweet and draw conclusions about the makeup of someone’s workforce.

Walmart asked for H-1B visas for 1,408 foreign workers in 2018, 893 visas in 2017, and 760 visas in 2016. Federal data about the award process suggest that the company received about 1,000 H-1B visas in those years.

The company also asked for 199 green cards for its foreign employees in 2018. Nearly all of those requests are approved, allowing the temporary workers to stay in the United States.

Almost 85 percent of Walmart’s green cards were sought for Indian workers.

But Walmart and many other companies also employ many imported H-1B workers who are hired from Indian-run and U.S.-run subcontracting firms, such as Infosys and Cognizant.

For example, subcontractors asked for  704 H-1B visas for foreign workers to take jobs at Walmart during 2019, according to a search of 2019 federal data.

The search software was produced by Virgil Bierschwale, a Texas-based programmer and founder of Keep America At WorkBierschwale is using the 2020 election to run against Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn to protest his support for companies’ use of foreign contract-workers. 

Each H-1B worker can stay for up to six years, or longer if they are nominated for a green card.

The data suggests that Walmart employs directly and indirectly at least 5,000 foreign H-1B college-graduates, plus additional foreign graduates with OPT and L-1 work permits.

Indian workers are moving into management at many U.S. companies. For example, Walmart’s chief technology officer is Suresh Kumar, an Indian graduate who formerly worked at Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Elsewhere, the CEOs of Microsoft and Google are former visa workers.

Several advocacy groups oppose this white-collar outsourcing, including the Center for Immigration Studies, the American Workers Coalition, Doctorswithoutjobs.com, alongside ProUSworkersNo on H.R. 1044, and The Multinational Coalition Against H.R. 1044/S. 386.

In turn, these groups are backed up by a few sites that are tracking the scale and location of the outsourcing industry in federal legislators’ districts. The sites include SAITJ.org and H1BFacts.com. “The scope of this thing is really unbelievable,” said one researcher.

Other sites document the conflicts created by diverse foreign business practices in the United States. The non-political MyVisaJobs.com site also  provides much information about H-1B outsourcing and green card rewards in multiple industries. The federal USCIS agency provides some data, including some data about the uncapped OPT program.

In 2015, the AFL-CIO released a report slamming Walmart for its use of foreign contract-workers. The report, titled “After Decimating U.S. Manufacturing, Wal-Mart Takes Aim at the Information Technology Sector,” said:

Walmart is lobbying for a massive increase in the number of H-1B visas. Walmart or Walmart principals back FWD.us and Compete America, the major lobbying groups working to triple the availability of H-1B work visas.

Walmart filed 1,800 petitions (certified LCAs) for H-1B visas in IT-related occupations between 2007 and 2014. These H-1B visa holders work for Walmart in areas like software development, collaborative applications, data management, system maintenance, and other IT fields.

Between 2007 and 2014, IT contractors have filed almost 15,000 petitions (certified LCAs) for H1B visas for work placed in Bentonville, Arkansas, home to Walmart’s headquarters and information technology center. Walmart is a known client of these controversial outsourcing contractors, including Infosys, Cognizant and Wipro.

Walmart and its IT contractors are clearly availing themselves of high quantities of H-1B visas for tech workers in Bentonville, suggesting that Arkansian STEM graduates, and STEM students generally, are likely overlooked in favor of IT guest workers from abroad that are paid less and have less rights. In Arkansas in 2012, over 2,000 students graduated with STEM degrees, and about 800 students graduated with IT-related degrees from four-year public universities every year.

Greg Penner, the chairman of Walmart, has donated to Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us advocacy group, which seeks to maintain the nation’s economic policy of growth via mass-immigration. Zuckerberg and other West Coast investors founded the group.

Walmart is also expanding its software hiring in India as it competes with Amazon for a growing share of India’s undeveloped retail market.

Amazon is also investing in India:

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