I made a change in the direction
of my career, because January 31st of 2015 was my last day in
the technology field.
That day, 20 years of hard work, a
bachelor's degree in Information Technology, and an IT job for
Disney were all over when my team, along with hundreds of
others, were displaced by a less-skilled foreign workforce
imported into our country using the
H-1B visa program.
The former Disney employees, with
far superior skills and knowledge, were the trainers, and the
guest workers just entering the technology field were the
trainees. This situation is far from the original intent of this
program, and is shocking to everybody that hears it.
I worked at Disney in Orlando in
some capacity for well over 10 years and received the very
highest employment performance review. Quotes included,
"Leo continues to provide value to
"This year Leo was instrumental."
"Leo saved the company over 10,000
"I look forward to another great
year of having Leo on our team."
During the holiday season of 2014
I was sent a meeting invitation by a prominent Disney executive.
With an excellent review in hand, along with the company
announcements of record profits, my mind buzzed with thoughts of
promotion or a bonus.
I walked into a small conference
room with about two dozen highly-respected fellow IT workers.
The Disney executive made a harsh announcement to us all: All of
you in this room will be losing their jobs in the next 90 days.
Your jobs have been given over to a foreign workforce. In the
meantime, you'll be training your replacements until your jobs
are a hundred percent transferred over to them, and if you do
not cooperate you will not receive any severance pay.
The only glimmer of hope during
that meeting was the announcement that new, more exciting jobs
would be opening soon. However, we found out that only four
people would be directly rehired by Disney, of the hundreds that
I was completely silent during
this meeting, thinking how I was going to -- how this is going
to affect my co-workers. How was I going to break the news to my
family and pay all their expenses? I would soon be living on
Later that same day, I clearly
remember going to the local church pumpkin sale and having to
tell the kids I couldn't buy any that year because my job [was]
being turned over to a foreign worker.
I started to think what kind of
American I was becoming. Was I going to become part of ruining
my country by taking severance pay in
exchange for training my foreign replacement? How many other American
families would be affected by the same foreign worker that I
The first part of my 90-day period
was focused on
capturing all that we did our jobs. We all felt extremely
humiliated when the foreign worker sat next to us and watched
everything that we did.
The final period of the 90 days was the most
disgraceful and demoralizing, as we had to watch the foreign
workers completely take over our jobs. And we came to grips
that the upcoming Disney jobs promised didn't exist.
on January 31st of 2015 we were ordered to turn in our company
badges, laptops, and then ushered out the door.
How can it be that
everybody that hears these stories about Disney and the like,
from the barbers to the bankers, are completely shocked -- yet
lawmakers continue to evade the topic and take no action?