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IBM responds to letter from U.S. Senator questioning use of H1-B visas

On Thursday, ABC 17 News got a copy of a letter from IBM to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley that was a response to the Senator’s questions regarding the company’s use of H1-B visas.

ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig reported Monday that IBM was not meeting state requirements as far as employment numbers and that employees claim the company is laying off American workers and replacing them with foreign workers.

Because those concerns have been raised in both Columbia and at the Dubuque, Iowa location, Fertig has been in regular contact with Senator Grassley’s office.

In a letter from Grassley written last month, the Senator asks IBM seven questions.

One question: “How many of these jobs being eliminated are filled by U.S. citizens and is IBM retaining similar ones filled by foreign guest workers?”

IBM does not provide a number, but said client demand has “shifted to roles requiring different skill sets.”

Another request from Grassley: “Please provide me with the number of foreign workers who will be hired by IBM between now and the time of the planned layoffs and the type of visa they will hold.”

IBM said, ” We cannot say with any certainty how many visa holders IBM will bring to the U.S.”

Grassley also asks IBM to provide a list of job descriptions and locations for where the nearly 6,000 H1-B visa workers that the company has requested will be.

IBM said the list of job roles is confidential.

The company went on to say it relies on America’s educational system to supply them with workers and that the educational system is not adequate to meet IBM’s needs.

The full response letter from IBM to Senator Grassley is posted on the union’s website here.

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