Infosys distressed by US senator’s chop shop jibe

Indian IT services provider Infosys says it is “distressed” by remarks by US senator Charles Schumer comparing the company to a “chop shop”, a garage that reassembles stolen cars.

Last Friday, during a debate on a bill to raise application fees for H1-B non-immigrant visas, the kind commonly used by Indian IT professionals to work in the US, Schumer said the plan would raise money from “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.”

Yesterday, a spokesperson from Infosys told Indian newspaper the Economic Times that the company is “distressed with this statement. Infosys is a good corporate citizen, pays its taxes and is law abiding.”

According to another Indian newspaper, the Business Standard, the company had previously declined to comment. “Politicians make all kind of statements in the legislature and we don’t want to show a red flag to the bull at this point of time,” a company spokesman said.

Schumer also remarked that the increased fees "will not affect the high-tech companies such as Intel or Microsoft that play by the rules and recruit workers in America". Ironically, Microsoft is an Infosys customer: earlier this year the software giant signed a $100 million deal with the Indian company to provide internal IT support. 

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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