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Eighth District International Representative Rick Baer instructs a group of Romanian J-1
workers during IBEW orientation class.

Cheap Labor Draws
American Companies

January/February 2002 IBEW Journal

Traveling overseas for foreigners and maneuvering through international red tape involved with such a program is not a far-fetched notion once USA-IT calculated the money-making potential of the scam. Transportation, recruiting and advertising were minor initial expenses. USA-IT charges employers $15 per hour for the workers and pockets $5 for every hour the workers are on the job.

USA-IT proudly marketed electrical workers available on the cheap. The USA-IT program is an excellent way to overcome current shortages with extremely capable, reliable and cost efficient electricians, one solicitation letter says.

The employer benefits are numerous. USA-IT literature touts the fact employers do not pay Social Security or state unemployment insurance taxes. They can relocate workers at will because the workers cannot bring their families. And no matter how bad the working conditions, the workers are barred from switching employers.

Another pitch from USA-IT to U.S. employers reads, No Prevailing Wage. Salary is generally less than comparable full-time employees because [the] applicant is acting in a practical training capacity.

From Shadow to Light