Page Two

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-10-11 Print this article Print

: (IT) Workers of the World, Unite"> To be fair, as the IT job environment has worsened, the ITAA has reduced the number of new IT jobs it says will be created over the next 12 months by 27 percent. Still, to expect the ITAA to bow to public pressure and declare that the IT work force is in crisis and that the H-1B program must end is a bit like expecting the National Rifle Association to disavow handguns because too many convenience stores are getting held up. It aint going to happen. Rather than targeting the ITAA, IT workers should emulate it. That means organizing in order to influence lawmakers and represent the interests of IT workers in other ways. The problem is that, while IT employers are well-organized and well-funded, IT workers are not. So, for example, IT employers and the ITAA have been able give lawmakers a reason to vote for expansion of the H-1B Visa program by presenting it as an essential tool for U.S. competitiveness.
Campaign contributions probably havent hurt, either. IT workers, while vocal, have been far less organized on the issue.
Im not suggesting that IT professionals unionize in the classic AFL-CIO sense. IT workers dont really have the collective culture for that. But something along the lines of the American Association of Retired Persons would make sense. The AARP isnt a union, but it represents 30 million members, and you can bet its officials get their calls to Capitol Hill returned. A similar organization for IT professionals wouldnt be able to boast the same numbers. But, with an estimated 10 million or so IT workers in the U.S. to draw from, it would probably be able to at least put on a decent demonstration. IT Careers Executive Editor Jeff Moad can be reached at


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