Two dozen Disney IT workers prepare to sue over foreign replacements

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
Part of the problem here is that Disney is not actually bringing in H1B employees. They have contracted with another company for the IT, and THAT company is hiring the foreign workers, no doubt at much lower wages, and most of whom are based in India. They brought over some of them to get trained by the Disney folks (which, it appears, Disney threatened them with no severance if they didn't do it - also an abhorrent activity). It is still absolutely WRONG that Disney did this at all.

The CIO of Disney obviously has no clue what he is doing, and checking the bio, I can see why. This person has NO business making any sort of IT decisions for a company like Disney. He has zero IT experience.
 

Nubs70

Well-Known Member
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The argument that they are making in that filing is not going to hold up. They are trying to twist this into a discrimination case. They are saying they were subject to "national origin discrimination." Which is bunk. Disney did not fire them because they were born in the United States. They fired them because they expected higher wages than their replacements. I can't imagine a court accepting the discrimination argument, unless they are feeling particularly activist that day.

The only possible legal ground that they could stand on here is that which @rucifee mentioned, namely that the H1B program is potentially being abused here, as it was never intended to supply cheap replacements to available American labor. Even so, though, it will be interesting to see if a court holds that these former employees have standing to sue on those grounds. I suspect their lawyers are telling them they don't have standing, which is why they're trying to go the discrimination claim route. A violation of H1B visa rules would be something for the federal government to enforce, not a matter for a private lawsuit.

Again, let me be clear that I think what Disney did is disgraceful. And I think the trend of companies in general to do it is disgraceful as well. And I think our government should get on the ball to stop this sort of thing. I just don't think the forum of a civil lawsuit is the place where this is going to be resolved successfully. Most likely, Disney will simply reach a confidential settlement with these folks and pay them to go away, and nothing will change.
Did WDW offer the former employees the same position at the lower wage and the former employees declined?

Did WDW eliminate the positions then replace with replace with foreign nationals at a lower wage?

Did WDW retain the positions and replace with foreign nationals?

We're said foreign nationals lacking in skill set and needed significant training in order to be "qualified".

Who were the trainers (qualified skill set) that trained the foreign naionals (unqualified skill set)?

I see that WDW did not offer the lower wage to current qualified employees. Replaced qualified ee's with unqualified ee's of foreign origin, who being unqualified for the position, thus requiring extensive training by qualified ee's.
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination.

- http://www.computerworld.com/articl...prepare-to-sue-over-foreign-replacements.html

Personally, I hope they rake Disney over the coals for this, what they did to their employees was disgraceful.

I agree. That was dirty pool. The bad publicity alone will cause stomachs to roil at Disney (hopefully). I hope those guys win their suits and that it sets an example for every company that tries to pull this kind of crap on good, qualified American workers. And if it makes Iger look bad, all the better!
 

"El Scorpion"

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
Look I see both sides to this. It is a really s**tty thing to do if the driving motivation is the bottom line. But as public company Disney has a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders to derive profit (which directly correlates to the bottom line). Florida is an "At Will" employment state. It is very difficult to prove discrimination unless it is so blatant it basically slaps you in the face.


If you had a company that sold widgets and your net profit was a $100,000 a year, don't you think you would explore any opportunity, if presented to you (including outsourcing), that potentially represented an increase to your bottom line (your family's direct income)?

Disney is a business and they act like one. There are many, many other companies (Try calling AMEX customer service and not getting a call center in India) that go down this path.

I'd be more PO'd at the buffoons in Washington for creating an environment that rewards this type of behavior, rather than the company which exploits it.
 
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lostpro9het

Well-Known Member
A CIO's job is to give the company the best IT (hardware/software/services/personnel) that they can. NOT to be a cost-cutting measure to make the CEO happy.
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
A CIO's job is to give the company the best IT (hardware/software/services/personnel) that they can. NOT to be a cost-cutting measure to make the CEO happy.
No, the job of a CIO -- and every other employee -- is to satisfy the expectations of the people who employ them. In some companies, this entails what you said. In other companies, it entails cutting corners wherever possible to get the job done for the least money.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
No, the job of a CIO -- and every other employee -- is to satisfy the expectations of the people who employ them. In some companies, this entails what you said. In other companies, it entails cutting corners wherever possible to get the job done for the least money.
And that is a sad state of business nowadays. The heck with quality, let's give them the cheapest solution possible, regardless of whether or not it actually costs MORE in the long run, due to a short-sighted CIO cutting corners.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
Look I see both sides to this. It is a really s**tty thing to do if the driving motivation is the bottom line. But as public company Disney has a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders to derive profit (which directly correlates to the bottom line). Florida is an "At Will" employment state. It is very difficult to prove discrimination unless it is so blatant it basically slaps you in the face.
I unfortunately agree with you that any discrimination suit is going nowhere, but I completely disagree that any company, and especially Disney, should go out of it's way to drive profit above all else, just to satisfy the idiots on Wall St. If your company is making a healthy profit, and no one is saying otherwise about Disney, then there is absolutely NO reason to go looking to cut costs, when most great companies realize that IT can be a driver for a business, and not just a cost sucker.

Look around just here on these boards about all of the complaints that we ALL have had with Disney IT this year. It has sucked badly. Maybe if they had a CIO who had a clue about IT, and wanted to give Disney customers the best, we wouldn't even be talking about this now. Disney needs a world class IT department to run what they are trying to do, and right now, they have a third world IT department that has no clue what it is doing, being led by a strategic planner that has no business giving any kind of IT direction for a company.

If you had a company that sold widgets and your net profit was a $100,000 a year, don't you think you would explore any opportunity, if presented to you (including outsourcing), that potentially represented an increase to your bottom line (your family's direct income)?

Disney is a business and they act like one. There are many, many other companies (Try calling AMEX customer service and not getting a call center in India) that go down this path.

I'd be more PO'd at the buffoons in Washington for creating an environment that rewards this type of behavior, rather than the company which exploits it.
Well, actually, no. If my company was founded in the US, using US employees to manufacture my goods, and they are goods that people are willing to pay for, then I would never even think about outsourcing overseas to save a few pennies. I would then have to worry about labor issues in that other country, shipping costs from there, and a hundred other headaches that I simply don't want.

Oh I absolutely agree that there are many other companies that have outsourced their call centers overseas (and entire IT departments as well), and I absolutely think that it sucks that they have done that. I have no problem with global companies hiring overseas workers to handle the overseas customers, but I firmly believe that if I am a US customer, I should talk with a US-based customer service rep. JMHO.
 

"El Scorpion"

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
I unfortunately agree with you that any discrimination suit is going nowhere, but I completely disagree that any company, and especially Disney, should go out of it's way to drive profit above all else, just to satisfy the idiots on Wall St. If your company is making a healthy profit, and no one is saying otherwise about Disney, then there is absolutely NO reason to go looking to cut costs, when most great companies realize that IT can be a driver for a business, and not just a cost sucker.

Look around just here on these boards about all of the complaints that we ALL have had with Disney IT this year. It has sucked badly. Maybe if they had a CIO who had a clue about IT, and wanted to give Disney customers the best, we wouldn't even be talking about this now. Disney needs a world class IT department to run what they are trying to do, and right now, they have a third world IT department that has no clue what it is doing, being led by a strategic planner that has no business giving any kind of IT direction for a company.


Well, actually, no. If my company was founded in the US, using US employees to manufacture my goods, and they are goods that people are willing to pay for, then I would never even think about outsourcing overseas to save a few pennies. I would then have to worry about labor issues in that other country, shipping costs from there, and a hundred other headaches that I simply don't want.

Oh I absolutely agree that there are many other companies that have outsourced their call centers overseas (and entire IT departments as well), and I absolutely think that it sucks that they have done that. I have no problem with global companies hiring overseas workers to handle the overseas customers, but I firmly believe that if I am a US customer, I should talk with a US-based customer service rep. JMHO.

I don't disagree with your thought process. And I admire the fact that you would keep the jobs here. But when you look at the likes of let's say Apple which manufactures a lot of their product in China, several U.S. Automakers with plants in Mexico, the countless number of companies outsourcing IT and call center operations to India, Panama, and the Philippines.....I agree it is reprehensible......but Disney is not exactly setting the precedent.
 

rucifee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It's one thing to supplement your IT staff with offshore for after hours service and other responsibilities that do not require significant expertise, it's quite another to bring in a company and force your employees to train their staff who replace you. I like the idea of supplementing staff so your IT staff can be well rested and ready for the next battle, but what Disney did makes me sick.
 

Lucky

Well-Known Member
I'd be more PO'd at the buffoons in Washington for creating an environment that rewards this type of behavior, rather than the company which exploits it.
Politicians and bureaucrats in Washington don't sit around dreaming up programs like H1B on their own. Businesses lobby for them.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
I don't disagree with your thought process. And I admire the fact that you would keep the jobs here. But when you look at the likes of let's say Apple which manufactures a lot of their product in China, several U.S. Automakers with plants in Mexico, the countless number of companies outsourcing IT and call center operations to India, Panama, and the Philippines.....I agree it is reprehensible......but Disney is not exactly setting the precedent.
So a few things. There are actually several automakers (including Toyota and other foreign based companies) that have manufacturing plants here in the U.S. Some have moved to Mexico, some have not.

I do agree that Disney is not setting the precedent for out-sourcing, but why not be the company that sets the precedent to keep the jobs here when there are fully qualified people here that can do it.

Apple is a bad example as there is nowhere in the U.S that can hire the 500,000 workers and 25,000 engineers to build the hundreds of millions of products that they build every year. Many of the parts are manufactured here in the U.S. (such as the CPUs that are made up in Austin, TX) and then shipped over there for assembly. That is a very global operation, and understandable. Parts from Brazil, Japan, Europe, etc. Oh, and if you call for support, you get someone here in the U.S., not a call center overseas
 

"El Scorpion"

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
It's one thing to supplement your IT staff with offshore for after hours service and other responsibilities that do not require significant expertise, it's quite another to bring in a company and force your employees to train their staff who replace you. I like the idea of supplementing staff so your IT staff can be well rested and ready for the next battle, but what Disney did makes me sick.

Morally, you are spot on. I don't think anyone disagrees that not only Disney, but what thousands of other companies do in outsourcing, and H1B hires is not what we would like to see. But again Disney is a public company. And they value profit over morals as do other companies of their stature.

A question for you.....If you've saved for the better part of your life and made the decision to invest in a stock like Disney. Say to the tune of half of your retirement funds (whatever that may be).... Knowing that the return on this investment is the money you will be living on, or spending on your grandchildren's education, or just to spend on quality time with your family.....Do you want a company that strives to cut costs and increase profitability....or one with a moral consciense that foresakes profit?
 

Lucky

Well-Known Member
Do you want a company that strives to cut costs and increase profitability....or one with a moral consciense that foresakes profit?
That choice oversimplifies a little. Sure, cut costs, but not to the point where you're on shaky ground legally and ethically, and having to spend a fortune on lawyers, PR people and lobbyists to deal with the consequences. That may not be profitable.
 

"El Scorpion"

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
So a few things. There are actually several automakers (including Toyota and other foreign based companies) that have manufacturing plants here in the U.S. Some have moved to Mexico, some have not.

I do agree that Disney is not setting the precedent for out-sourcing, but why not be the company that sets the precedent to keep the jobs here when there are fully qualified people here that can do it.

Apple is a bad example as there is nowhere in the U.S that can hire the 500,000 workers and 25,000 engineers to build the hundreds of millions of products that they build every year. Many of the parts are manufactured here in the U.S. (such as the CPUs that are made up in Austin, TX) and then shipped over there for assembly. That is a very global operation, and understandable. Parts from Brazil, Japan, Europe, etc. Oh, and if you call for support, you get someone here in the U.S., not a call center overseas

Apple is not a bad example unless you think Disney is going to fly people into Paris or Shanghai to work the attractions and then fly them home at night so they can have dinner with their families. Disney is a global company and employs not only only American workers. Look I don't disagree that what Disney is doing is not right from a moral standpoint. But....

They are a public company that illicit investments through their stock from people like you and me who work hard, save, and invest. Whether it's because we want assets for retirement, to put our kids kids through college, or to buy a sports car...it makes no difference. Their fiduciary responsibility is to those that fall into this category. This is what it means to be a public company.
 

rucifee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Morally, you are spot on. I don't think anyone disagrees that not only Disney, but what thousands of other companies do in outsourcing, and H1B hires is not what we would like to see. But again Disney is a public company. And they value profit over morals as do other companies of their stature.

A question for you.....If you've saved for the better part of your life and made the decision to invest in a stock like Disney. Say to the tune of half of your retirement funds (whatever that may be).... Knowing that the return on this investment is the money you will be living on, or spending on your grandchildren's education, or just to spend on quality time with your family.....Do you want a company that strives to cut costs and increase profitability....or one with a moral consciense that foresakes profit?

I support ethical companies. You don't have to sacrifice morality or ethics, or cut corners to earn a profit. I would rather not invest in a company that is ethically questionable and earn slightly less.
 

TyrantBoss

Well-Known Member
I think Disney was totally within their rights to do what they did.
Disney makes absolutely no mistakes. They are a flawless company. We should not question their motives or decision-making.
 

GhostHost1000

Well-Known Member
Here's how it works in the corporate world particularly IT.

The CIO likely got big praise and maybe a bonus for saving X amount of dollars because normally labor cost is some of the most expensive cost so sometimes it is the easiest to make a quick difference.

Then whenever someone else realizes they made a mistake and their new IT model is making things worse and possibly costing them more in the long run, they'll revert back to US jobs and then whoever recommended that will get praise and possibly a bonus as well.

I see things like this happening all the time. Things seem to always come full circle and each time it changes its celebrated and someone is rewarded
 

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