Sen. Durbin calls Abbott Labs' IT layoffs 'harsh and insensitive’

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Employees are fearful as cuts loom and training of replacements begins

Abbott Labs, a global healthcare company, is laying off about 180 IT employees after inking an agreement with Wipro, a major India-based IT services firm, to take over some IT services. The employees were told about the planned cuts on Feb. 22; their last day will be April 22.

The workers are expecting to train their replacements, possibly workers on H-1B and other temporary visas.

Abbott is based in Illinois, which is also the home of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat who has been a long-time advocate for H-1B reforms and a co-sponsor of legislation with another visa reformer, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

In a letter Monday to Abbott CEO Miles White, Durbin implored him "to reconsider this plan and retain these U.S. workers."

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