Craig, Glad to see you are not silent because our silence enables this crap.
After being let go from Eversource Energy, Diangelo was unemployed for a while. He lost out on a lot of his pension because he was forced into early retirement. Eventually, he found a new job as an IT consultant. While it doesn’t pay as much as his last gig, Diangelo considers himself lucky. “Last week I got together with six of my former co-workers, and I’m the only one that’s fully employed. After three years there is one guy who is driving a school bus, there is another guy working at the local supermarket stocking shelves, there are other people who are not working at all.” Diangelo tears up a bit when discussing their plight. “I look at my co-workers, people with advanced degrees, and they are working at the supermarket stocking shelves or driving school buses. Really? It does become humiliating.”
For several years, former Eversource employees upheld their NDAs, and didn’t speak with the press. “They are all afraid they will get sued for their severance,” says Diangelo. “A lot of them have gone through most of their savings.” But after finding a new job, Diangelo decided he’d had enough. “I finally said to myself, this is ridiculous, I’m living in the shadows because of a corporation, and I started to speak out.” He is part of a group of tech workers pushing for reform to the H-1B system and speaking out despite the threat of a lawsuit or loss of severance pay. “There has to be a change to the law,” says Diangelo. “I don’t see how you could bring over individuals on visas to take jobs from people that are already doing them. That has to stop.”