Southern California Edison has confirmed that it will lay off 400 workers and replace them with foreign workers. Edison’s corporate offices are located at 2244 Walnut Grove Ave., Rosemead where they employ thousands of workers.
A total of 500 workers, including 400 to be laid off and 100 who are leaving voluntarily will be gone by August.
Most of them are from SCE’s Information Technology (IT) organization. Many of the impacted employees reside in communities throughout the West San Gabriel Valley.
Edison revealed it began a competitive vendor selection process and selected Infosys, based in Bangalore, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) following site visits, some in India, to provide IT services.
“Computer World,” an internet publication, said the Edison workers are being laid off and replaced by workers from India.
“Some employees are training their H-1B holding replacements,” the article stated.
“They are bringing in people with a couple of years experience to replace us and then we have to train them,” Computer World quoted one unidentified employee.
The two companies are supposedly the largest users of H-1B visas
According to Wikipedia, the H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
The replacement of IT workers with H-1B workers is getting attention from one U.S. lawmaker who serves on the Senate’s immigration subcommittee.
Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) is a critic of the H-1B visa program city addressed the SCE’ Layoffs in a speech in the U.S. Senate last week.
“Apparently, Southern California Edison – a power company rooted in the United States of America – is converting, laying off, and terminating the employment of people who have been with them for a number of years.”
In a statement to the press, the large electric utility said “SCE does not take this action lightly and is assisting employees through this difficult period”
The company said the IT employees will continue to receive offers of health, wellness and professional development workshops as well as severance packages job fairs and other possible opportunities with other SCE departments.
In its’ statement the utility stated, “ SCE has made and will continue to make, difficult business decision. In all of these efforts, operational and service excellence will be critical.
“SCE needs to compete for customers by providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity with quality service.”
Edison is Rosemead’s largest employer and occupies several office buildings at its Walnut Grove Avenue location. Edison is the second largest power company in California.