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Infosys distressed at 'chop shop' slur by US senator

Last updated on: August 9, 2010 19:58 IST

Infosys distressed at 'chop shop' slur by US senator

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Software giant Infosys on Monday took strong objection to a United States senator describing it as a 'chop shop' and asserted that the company was a responsible corporate that creates jobs and provides high quality services across the world

"We are distressed with this statement. Infosys is a good corporate citizen, pays its taxes and is law abiding," the Bengaluru-based company said.

The protectionism debate in America had taken an ugly turn when New York Democrat Charles Schumer had likened Infosys Technologies to a 'chop shop' while discussing an immigration bill in the US Senate on Thursday.

A chop shop refers to shady places of business where people dismantle stolen cars and sell off their parts.

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Image: US Senator Charles Schumer.
Photographs: Reuters
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Infosys distressed at 'chop shop' slur by US senator

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Infosys also said the US visa fees are discriminatory and does not help create an open competitive market.

"Our strategy is to create jobs in every jurisdiction that we work in. We provide a world class work environment for all employees in every country and we add significant value to our clients, helping them compete effectively in the global marketplace," the company said in a statement.

Infosys, India's second largest software exporter, said it has around 1,300 citizens and permanent residents working for it in the US and had been actively working in the past few quarters to hire over 1,000 additional people.

The comments were made by Schumer during discussions on the Border Security Bill, a $600-million emergency package aimed at strengthening security along the porous Mexican border.

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Image: The Mysore campus of Infosys.
Photographs: Rediff Archive
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Infosys distressed at 'chop shop' slur by US senator

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"The emergency border funds will be paid for by assessing fees on foreign companies known as chop shops that outsource good, high-paying American technology jobs to lower wage, temporary immigrant workers from other countries.

"These are companies such as Infosys," Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday.

The comments made during the discussion are posted on the Senate website.

Schumer also pointed out the bill would not affect the high-tech companies such as Intel or Microsoft that play by the rules and recruit workers in America.

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Infosys distressed at 'chop shop' slur by US senator

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The $600 million-spending bill approved by the Senate would see significant hike in application fees for H-1B and L1 visas, which are most sought after by Indian IT professionals.

The proposed bill would hike the visa fee to $2,000 per application on those entities that have less than 50 per cent of their employees as US citizens.

Infosys has thousands of employees in the US. For the three months ended June 30, the company had raked in 67.3 per cent of its total revenues from North America.

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Infosys distressed at 'chop shop' slur by US senator

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After the passage of the bill in the Senate, Democrat Senator of Missouri Claire McCaskill on Thursday said the proposal would increase fees for particular companies that exploit two categories of visas -- H-1B and L.

"A handful of foreign-controlled companies that operate in the United States -- such as Wipro, Tata, Infosys and Satyam -- rely on H-1B and L visas to import foreign workers to the US.

"The Senate Democrats' border security proposal would increase the visa fees paid by these companies by roughly $2,000 per visa application," she had said in a statement.



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