Emmons lost his programming job last winter when his entire IT department at Siemens Information Communication Networks (ICN) was outsourced to an Indian company. Until last year, the University of Florida graduate rarely voted; now he plans to run for Congress (“I’ll probably lose,” he concedes). During the past year, Emmons has made himself an expert on labor policy. He has harassed corporate executives, gotten himself on television and is one of the main reasons that legislation reforming the L-1 visa was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May.
“They took my job; they took my livelihood,” he says, with a crisp cadence that barely hides his anger. “You don’t do something like this to someone and expect them to turn a blind eye.”
The radicalization of Mike Emmons provides a personal window on the growing backlash against the offshoring of IT jobs and importing of nonimmigrant temporary workers on H-1B or L-1 visas. (Read more about this trend in “Backlash” on Page 44.) This story could even be considered a wake-up call: CIOs beware; you might have a Mike Emmons on your staff.