Abbott Labs, a global healthcare company, is laying off about 180 IT employees after signing 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 longtime 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."