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How European Startups Are Battling Labor Laws For Developers and Programmers

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the sword-perhaps-mightier-than-pen-in-this-fight dept.

Businesses 293

Nerval's Lobster writes "The United States with its H-1B controversy isn't the only country going through that sort of immigration upheaval. As the cult of entrepreneurship spirals upward in Europe, the intricate vagaries of immigration policy on the continent are being newly scrutinized by our company-building classes. Freshly venture-backed European Internet companies want talent, and they are going to remarkable lengths to get it — but not always legally. Milo Yiannopoulos talked to whole bunch of entrepreneurs and investors in Europe about the fudges, shortcuts, workarounds and, in some cases, 'strategic decision-making' are — just about — getting their companies the talent they need. For example, one well-known Parisian venture capitalist told Milo that he knows of 'at least nine' startups in France employing developers illegally, keeping them off the books not only to avoid France's notoriously onerous labor laws but also because it would have been impossible, or simply too expensive, to import them officially."

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Fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735105)

$10,000 challenge for frosty piss.

Re:Fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735293)

go to frosty hell, troll!

Re:Fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735375)

don't feed the trolls, idiot. you just encourage them.

Re:Fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735451)

likewise!

so why not set up shop elsewhere? (3, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735127)

If the laws of the land are too onerous, the correct solutions are either to change the laws or else go somewhere else.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735215)

If the laws of the land are too onerous, the correct solutions are either to change the laws or else go somewhere else.

That's what most companies do.

Why doesn't the US set corporate tax to near "0"....for all companies set up physically IN the US with over X number of employees in the states? I'd think we'd be attracting all sorts of businees to our shores. The lack of corp tax would offset to a great deal the higher salaries to be paid here.

Also, make those non-tax incentives to have to hire US citizens....

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (5, Insightful)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735273)

1. Because it is a race to the bottom: if you're getting companies in there because of your 'near zero' corporate tax, don't be surprised if they move to another country with 'nearer zero' corporate tax, and lower payroll tax as well, and maybe poorer working conditions.
2. Because if a company isn't paying corporate tax, then it is much harder for it to be worth having them in the country (the cost of servicing their existence may exceed their return to society/government)

Re: so why not set up shop elsewhere? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735459)

i just came back from the cinema in ireland. i went alone. i sae happy friends there eatching movies. they werent irish. irish people are too busy slaving off debts to go. maybe too proud like me to have friends when theu have no job. better to be an immigrant.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (1, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736181)

Because it is a race to the bottom:

Yes. It's called "competition". It's what keeps markets efficient and prices low. It's what makes people better off over time.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (3, Insightful)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736263)

Because it is a race to the bottom:

Yes. It's called "competition". It's what keeps markets efficient and prices low. It's what makes people better off over time.

Sure, I'll acknowledge competition can encourage market efficiency and prices low. It's a bit of a stretch to claim that a race to the bottom makes people better off over time. It makes some people better off over time, but I think you're overreaching an awful lot to claim it 'makes people better off over time' more generally than that.

e.g. it is 'efficient', temporarily, for companies to use as close to slave labor as they can obtain with the minimum safety standards that prevent loss due to injured or killed workers that exceeded the cost of having safety equipment and protocols. It reduces production cost to a minimum, which makes things cheaper.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736271)

really? ask dell, HP, levono, and all the other computer makers what a race to the bottom looks like.

No having multiple companies each trying to find an edge to expand into is what makes the market efficient.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735309)

Even better, move to a VAT system... far harder to hide physical objects than money trails.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (2)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736283)

The problem with a VAT system is that it is a flat tax, which means all individuals are taxes equally on what they buy irrespective of income. Some have argued that this is fine, since higher-income individuals consume more and thus pay higher taxes. In practice, though, this is not what happens - the proportion of income which is saved or stashed increases with income. Someone on $20k a year will be spending essentially all their income; someone on $200k a year is much less likely to be. It is the same reason that (some have argued) having a means test on a stimulus package is a good idea because those on lower incomes are more likely to spend it. I should note others have argued that the opposite is true and low income earners will save the 'free cash'.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735551)

Could you say again what you want? I am not following you.

For context, most of the world uses a “source” standard of income. If you earned X dollars in country Y you pay Country Y’s tax on those X dollars. America (and a few other small countries) uses a domicile test – If you are a American corporation you will pay American taxes on that income no matter where it was earned. (This at times has led to a tax rate over 100% - so America put in a lot of fudges, exemptions, etc. which makes our tax code very inefficient.)

So, to you – should small companies (under X people) pay corporate tax and not big ones? Why would they move to America if they still had to pay profit on their overseas operations? (I am assuming that if a company were operating oversea that their market would remain there while they were physically here?)

(FYI, I am all for dropping the corporate tax rate to near zero – assuming is is coupled with the closer of some loopholes. And, I think part of America’s future is being an international hub, where bright people from around the world come and mix to create new things – so nix the non-citizen part – welcome almost everybody.)

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735913)

Because the 0 tax would only help the rich get richer and we can't have that at all these days.

Even if they are helping to maintain a healthy middle class.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43736165)

Can I have some of your cool aid?

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735297)

If the laws of the land are too onerous, the correct solutions are either to change the laws or else go somewhere else.

Maybe they can't move to the other place to work legally either, Setting up a legal entity in China can be an adventure of it's own.
But it's not really that hard to employ people legally in europe, even if they're from India or China. Hell, it's easier to get the travel permits if you employ them legally.

HOWEVER.. if you don't employ them officially you can screw them. Also you save a ton of money in taxes. That's what "uuu it's too expeeensive!!!" and bitching about the labor laws is about.

actually, they can _screw_ the owners. technically it's the employers fault and they could ask for all the benefits, unpaid holidays etc if the company folds and the owners/employer would be on the hook for them(it's not the illegal immigrant who arranged the situation so technically I think it's just, it's also practical. that's why people employing illegal immigrants generally don't want them to mingle with general population because they would tell all kinds of things about rights and how their illegally acting employer is potentially in deep shit because dodging taxes is serious business)... really, what the fuck is a thousand bucks on paperwork to get some guy that's going to cost you 6-10 thousand euros (legally paid ok pay) per month anyhow, are you going to make your talent live in illegal 10 persons per apartment shithole in some Parisian suburbs? are yo looking for coders or pizza delivery boys?? If your business needs them to work for pennies and you can't afford the taxes, make them partners or something - don't be a dick, it's going to cost you a ton if you are.

In other words, it's not really a problem in Europe to get the permits, it's relatively cheap as well.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735425)

If labor laws are too onerous, you shut up and obey them if you want to benefit from others' work.

Re:so why not set up shop elsewhere? (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736265)

If the laws of the land are too onerous, the correct solutions are either to change the laws or else go somewhere else.

Sadly this is not possible. This only works if people are free to live and work in whatever country they want. Unfortunately, this freedom is not allowed (or is so onerous that it might as well not be allowed).

Simple solution: Just Offer More Money (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735131)

Oooops, can't do that...

Re: Simple solution: Just Offer More Money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735791)

Stfu statist. If you want to earn money or respect you should join the Galt class and not the Marx class.

Re: Simple solution: Just Offer More Money (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736469)

Stfu statist. If you want to earn money or respect you should join the Galt class and not the Marx class.

Re: Marx

Is that Groucho, Chico or Harpo?

Buy American? (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735139)

Hey. I'm an American. Our H1-B visa program has tanked our industry. Substandard code, slipping release schedules, low wages. There is plenty of domestic talent here already, and I'm not even here on a visitor's pass.

What would it take for me to get out of my mismanaged and failed country of fools and into your country, which appears to be slightly less mismanaged and the changes are being pushed by startups who want to pay me well instead of MegaCorp(tm) who wants to pay me minimum wage to do something that takes 10 years of training to get into?

I'm deadly serious here. I could line up about 50,000 americans inside a week for you guys -- we're unemployed but we have the skillset. Our H1-B Visa program has killed our tech sector. Don't fall for the same trap we did.

Re:Buy American? (4, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735313)

Substandard code, slipping release schedules

That sounds more like a management issue than it does an H1-B problem.

If someone is churning out substandard code and causing schedules to slip... be they an American or H1-B holder... replace them... it's that simple.

Re:Buy American? (4, Informative)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735457)

Speaking as someone who hires and fires people, firing people and hiring new ones is far easier said than done, even if you propose to pay them well.

Even with a labor market full of candidates with the skills you need, you're still looking at a few weeks to get them in the door. In the meantime, your project is disrupted. Sure, you can try and train up someone on your team and make them work harder for a month or so, but they don't just learn stuff overnight, and your good team member is going to be overworked because those people still have to get their own code/project out the door on time as well.

I don't know where you have worked, but it's about ten times more likely to see people laid off than it is for them to be fired for performance, and there is a reason for that. I'm not afraid to fire someone who is not performing, but that's usually after at least working with them for some period of time to try and rectify the issues. The last thing I want to have to do is fire anyone unless they are richly deserving and that usually is demonstrated by a history of failure over time. So, if I have a "problem", he's going to be my problem for awhile. Thankfully, if you do find the right candidates, the failures are few and far between.

I work in a "right to work" state in the US. So, I don't even have to worry about half the stuff a European employer will have to when it comes to letting people go. There is nothing simple about it.

And there's the fact that you're going to fire someone. Unless the guy is an asshole, even doing what you must for good reason is not a pleasant task. In no way do I want to work for people who think I am going to fire people at the drop of a hat.

Re:Buy American? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735981)

The last thing I want to have to do is fire anyone unless they are richly deserving and that usually is demonstrated by a history of failure over time. So, if I have a "problem", he's going to be my problem for awhile. Thankfully, if you do find the right candidates, the failures are few and far between.

I can't say I speak for everyone, but I know I speak for the most professional amongst us when I say: Thank you. I'll never work for you, but we need more managers like you in the field. People who are willing to roll their sleeves up and get involved. So again, thanks.

We now return to our regularly scheduled flame-fest, already in progress...

Re:Buy American? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736047)

> I work in a "right to work" state in the US. So, I don't even have to worry about half the stuff a European employer will have to when it comes to letting people go.

Being in a "right to work state" doesn't change what you have to do to hire or fire someone. It just means that employers are forbidden from entering into exclusive labor contracts with organizations like unions. [wikipedia.org] If the employee is a union member (which can be the case even in right to work states) then you have to abide by whatever contractual obligations the company has negotiated with the union.

Re:Buy American? (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735555)

If someone is churning out substandard code and causing schedules to slip... be they an American or H1-B holder... replace them... it's that simple.

You haven't worked with people who ask you to... do the needful... have you? The substandard code is a byproduct of a combination of culture, language barrier, and a lack of experience. Note that I said experience, not education. American labor often stresses that people take their own initiative in solving a problem. You're expected to come up with a solution on your own, with little oversight or guidance, and you're given some leeway in making that happen. Yes, some companies are worse about this than others -- I am speaking in generalities here. YMMV. The culture of many of our immigrants is to not take that initiative -- but to only do things under the express guidance of their leaders. They see a problem and unless it's in the three ring binder that says "Things Management Says You Should Do When You Spot Problem X", it doesn't exist. They don't even see it. If you ask them about it, they'll say they don't know.

I'd snark you back and say "it's that simple," but nothing about conflicting cultural ideas and attitudes is. Nothing. You can't just replace people who have good attitudes but limited experience or have been trained to not take the initiative... you're just passing the buck on to the next person then. And it won't save your project. Software development isn't like factory work -- you can't mongolian hoarde the problem and solve it faster. In truth, a lot of times adding new people or more people makes the project take longer. This is a "people" problem, but it's commonly seen in all engineering disciplines. It's just the nature of the work.

The H1-B problem is not about putting down immigrants. We want them. Hell, we need them for some industries. The problem is that you can't destabilize an industry by radically changing either supply, or demand, and not have it hurt everyone. The H1-B program radically increased supply, and as a result, the cost of technical labor dropped -- a lot. It dropped so much that a lot of people who had invested in an education in it were left high and dry, and many people who had solid experience suddenly found themselves knocked several notches down on their career path and had to scramble to find a way to support their current lifestyle at a much lower income, with often tragic results. So a lot of experienced people left the industry to move into fields that were more stable, and the overall quality of the labor dropped.

This, in turn, fueled more cries for H1-Bs because high level positions were now going unfulfilled -- there was a glut of low-level workers, and very few experienced people because they didn't want to move 'down' in their career and simply moved out. That gap simply couldn't be filled no matter how many workers you threw at the problem. So the entire problem became cyclical... more H1-Bs mean more experienced workers leave, which mean lower overall quality of work, and now businesses are scrambling to find anyone who's qualified amongst a veritable sea of resumes... none which have the amount of experience needed.

And that, right there, is how our industry collapsed. It was because of short-term thinking -- they wanted to tap into the global labor market, so they poked a hole in the dam of regulations holding them back, thinking they could suckle off the new supply of cheap labor. But they were trying to drink out of a firehose, and then the dam exploded and washed out the entire industry.

There is no new tech now in this country. It's all gone to shit. It died because of short-term thinking, and now our high tech industry is just an empty shell, unable to produce any better than the third world, because that's the only labor source we have left.

Re:Buy American? (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735315)

I think a lot of the better educated in the US are starting to look with interest at Europe's social protections. My sister and her family moved to the land of opportunity a month ago, and are already working out exit options since there's no way in hell they can afford university or health fees for the kids. Yes it's not perfect but you'd be surprised how financially advantageous paying your taxes into social systems can be.

Re:Buy American? (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735391)

Yeah, I'm in the same boat. From what I've been able to determine, the governments in central and northern Europe / Scandinavia just seem to generally work better than do the U.S., U.K., and southern European governments. I'm not going to pretend I know why, but it's looking very, very attractive to me. (I may be particularly sensitized to the issue at the moment, as federal budget sequestration is causing me major problems.)

Re:Buy American? (4, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735433)

Those social protections are part of the problem, or rather, the way some countries implement them. In some EU countries, government has pushed the cost and risk of social measus to employers. An employee falls ill or is injured? Company is obliged to pay for their wages, sometimes for over a year. Need to fire someone? You can't, or you spend a goodly sum getting rid of him/her. Or you have someone off on maternity leave, with the obligation to keep paying her wages, just a few weeks after she joined the company. Yes, it happens, and by law you cannot refuse someone on that ground or even ask about it in a job interview.

That's all fine and dandy for the worker, and for corporations who can easily absorb the average costs incurred in a large group of employees. But in small startups, having to pay a worker who is unproductive one way or another for a long period of time can kill the company. You can insure against that, but the premiums are unbelievable.

Re:Buy American? (3, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735923)

Most of those rules either exempt small companies or they get reimbursed in turn by the state for the costs. In Sweden, for example, the employer pays for the first 14 days of sick leave (which is lower than your regular pay), the state covers anything beyond it. Same kind of thing with the other costs.

Re:Buy American? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736369)

2 weeks is nice. In the Netherlands it is up to 2 years.

Re:Buy American? (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736067)

Not "worker" but "society". These safety nets are created to ensure the future continuity of society through making everyone's future safer. A good example you list is maternity leave. Most of the developed countries already have bare minimum birth rates to hold their populations steady, and many would be in decline if not for immigration. This is a massive time bomb because our retirement systems are designed so that we have enough people providing for those who no longer provide for themselves. As this pool is depleted, societal order built on wealth will collapse. Japan has this problems in a very severe form due to their extreme xenophobia preventing immigration from plugging the short term loss accrued and as a result they're already struggling even though enough time hasn't lapsed for the problem to become even remotely bad. This is the issue of next twenty to thirty years and it's going to keep getting worse during this period.

So we have a choice: deprive the owner class of some income and give all mothers in the country a significant incentive to get children desperately needed to maintain the society, or award owner class with a bit more money, and make sure that it will be next to impossible to get children unless you're very safe financially and have society hang on the verge of a cliff in twenty years or so due to collapsing birth rate.

It's called "short term gain versus long term gain". You are advocating the short term gains and fully willing to throw the future under the bus for them. This is a very common way of thinking among those of the current owner class, as they believe that they and their capital will be allowed to leave the society when it starts to collapse and go to another healthy society to parasite off until its eventual collapse. And the circle will continue.

They are likely wrong, and forgetting the lessons of French Revolution and what happens to owner class alongside everyone else when society really does collapse in a large Western contry. While many of the owner class in the developing countries successfully dodged this bullet and just left for European countries and US after parasiting their own countries to the point of societal collapse, it's highly unlikely that US and European countries will allow for the same thing to happen to them. A far more likely outcome is the way of the guillotine and mob justice on those who remain alongside massive confiscation of property and a complete collapse of society to the point where there are no "healthy economies" to run to due to global impact of a collapse of a large Western country.

Re:Buy American? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736331)

I'm not suggesting that we do away with these safety nets. It's about striking a good balance. You want companies to pay taxes and not be able to fire people on a whim. But those companies also need some flexibility in their labour force, and security against the financial risks that come with these safety nets. Place too large a burden on companies, and they may up and leave or go out of business. But indulge them just to keep them in your country, and you'll start a race to the social security bottom.

I like the social security we have in my country (NL). But we could do with more flexible labour laws.

Re:Buy American? (1, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736451)

But that is exactly what you are suggesting. Or you are simply acting as a "useful idiot" arguing for it for those who do. Because "flexible labor laws" mean "I can own people". Literally. Look at the condition of people who are imported illegally. That is the ideal state of a worker for these employers.

Slavery is better then that.

Re:Buy American? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735937)

I think a lot of the better educated in the US are starting to look with interest at Europe's social protections.

I sure hope so. Even I think some European countries go too far with some benefits, like long paid maternity and paternity leave (yes, I have kids) but the basics are another story. We pay at least half again as much as any other country for healthcare (as %/GDP - it's worse by exchange rate or PPP) yet get no better care. University tuition has reached a point where either you have rich parents or go into debt for life (at high interest rates and, unlike any other loan, can't be discharged in bankruptcy).

Unfortunately we still have plenty of idiots who scream "socialism", without realizing that the frickin' fire department is socialism. Occasionally you even hear a brilliant remark like "tell the government to keep its hands off my Medicare" (Medicare is the one way the US has long provided universal healthcare, but only if you're at least 65). The same people who scream "socialism" would probably revolt if you tried to take away their Medicare.

Re:Buy American? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735997)

My sister and her family moved to the land of opportunity a month ago, and are already working out exit options since there's no way in hell they can afford university or health fees for the kids.

While things can be difficult, there are ways.
University fees: firstly, live in a state that offers in-state fees to all residents, not just to Green Card holders (permanent residents) and citizens. Secondly, take the general education part of your degree course at community college, so that only 2 years of full university fees have to be paid. University of California's fees are comparable with the UK (9,000 pounds/year).
Health fees for the kids: should be covered by employer, or, if over 26, some kind of government assistance.

Re:Buy American? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735481)

American products are shit, workers are lazy and don't bother to integrate. If they're anything like you, totally xenophobic too. No thanks!

Flip side. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735705)

A lot of American software developers only want to write code. They don't want to test it, document it, demo it to stakeholders, meet with stakeholders to gain business knowledge and ensure that their designs are on-target, or (worst of all) support it when the client has trouble with it.

People who insist that every non-coding task be done by some other specialist are only suited to work for megacorps that have that kind of staffing budget. For most other businesses, programmers need to have basic social skills, professionalism, and a willingness to do the not-so-fun side of software development.

This doesn't mean that every programmer needs to be a top-tier business analyst or anything. Listening to a client tell you where their pain points are, and talking possible solutions over with them, is not hard (at least, not if your technical skills are what you say they are).

The mom's basement social rejects are merely coders, not software developers, and their unwillingness to do everything the position requires means that they effectively don't have the skills.

Re:Buy American? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735759)

Get in line, there are several millions already waiting. If Europeans let them in the wages will fall to the level you wouldn't like them. From my understanding those startups are using cheap slaves (probably from the post-soviet countries), and the want to legalize it. The don't want to bring developers on an average salary, it's too expensive. It's not about to find a talent, there are many of them in Europe. It's about to get them dirt cheap. The solution which will satisfy businesses will be to let them bring workers with no right, no way for citizenship, and guarantied kick out of the country after several years, or in case employer doesn't need them. So those "lucky" guys will pay full taxes without getting the benefits. BTW, the same happens in the US to those on H1B who have to go back. They pay full taxes and get minimum benefits.

Re:Buy American? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43736241)

We can't afford to bring European standards down to American standards no thanks Americans and Indians should stay in their own countries we have enough unemployment and recession in ours besides Americans descriminate against European Americans

Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735143)

Typical employer whining about not being willing to pay prevailing wages. From the article:

  • "Getting a regular visa wasn't an option because of the salary thresholds"
  • "Canadian cousin flew in to London via Germany. ... She was due to stay with us to help us out with our newborn baby, and also to do some unpaid work experience at my wife's business."

As usual, it's employers whining that they can't find wage slaves.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735305)

Quite the contrary. Employers are able to find good workers for a reasonable price and the government is saying no. So meanwhile some guy's new business is struggling to get going and some other guy who had the misfortune of being born somewhere else can't find work. Free trade, by definition, is mutually beneficial to both parties. Meanwhile, people on H1B visas are getting treated like indentured servants, because that's what they are. If you just let workers come over and work for market wages, you'll quickly get equilibrium and not have to deal with this nonsense.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (4, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735327)

Hey, my business plan would work great if only I didn't have to pay people!

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (4, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735737)

You must have a better business plan than me. Mine only works if the employees pay me.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (4, Interesting)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735453)

Quite the contrary. Employers are able to find good workers for a reasonable price and the government is saying no.

They want to work for free but the gov says no. It's sensible, because stopping people from working for too little avoids races to the bottom and makes sure everyone gets paid enough (which in turn ensures that the economy keeps moving).

Free trade, by definition, is mutually beneficial to both parties.

Only in a simple and sterile world where everything is linear. In truth, it is easy to find examples of free trades that do not benefit anyone. Like the addict and the heroin dealer, both sinking deeper into tragedy as a result of their (free) trade.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735729)

Free trade, by definition, is mutually beneficial to both parties.

Another person spouting nonsense about "free trade". It's not by definition, but according to simplistic theory. Furthermore, even that theory requires conditions that often aren't met (e.g. balanced trade). "Mutual benefit" means it benefits both countries in terms of their aggregate statistics (e.g. GDP) and says nothing about the distribution of those benefits. So if 1% of the people got an enormous benefit and 99% got screwed, free trade theory would still call that a net benefit.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735333)

and we have a winner!

I have stopped telling people "I am a computer programmer". Oh it carries decent prestige with it. The problem is the cheap-ass's with 'the best idea evar!!!1!!'. All they need is 'someone to cobble it together for them'. They get seriously angry when I tell them my rates and will not work for free. 'but we know each other wont you do it for free its really easy'. There are only 2 people I will work for free for, my wife and me.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735639)

That depends on if the wage thresholds are reasonable, or if they are simply trying to inflate everyone's standard of living artificially. If the latter, it will crush small businesses who legitimately can't afford to hire expensive employees.

We're not talking about megacorps here, we're talking about small businesses. Anything that allows them to grow a business is only going to help your country if you know how to keep them here.

Re:Didn't want to pay prevailing wages (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735807)

We're not talking about megacorps here, we're talking about small businesses.

So? Small companies that can't survive without special privileges deserve to die. It's a harsh reality called "capitalism" and "competition", though many people seem to like those things only when they're applied to other people. As for "anything that allows them to grow a business is only going to help your country", it's utter crap. If a company isn't competitive in an environment where other companies do fine, it means that company is a failure. Giving it special privileges to stay afloat is called welfare. The resources would be better invested in a competitive company.

Hate labor laws? (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735151)

You might be a greedy scumbag, regardless of the amount of money you have already accrued. Check for the following symptoms: not wanting to pay taxes on money your employees earned for you, feeling it is totally acceptable to dumb toxic waste from your country off the coast of Somalia, or stealing from babies.

But seriously, this isn't "battling labor laws," this is breaking the law for a higher profit margin.

Re:Hate labor laws? (4, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735255)

You might be a greedy scumbag, regardless of the amount of money you have already accrued. Check for the following symptoms: not wanting to pay taxes on money your employees earned for you, feeling it is totally acceptable to dumb toxic waste from your country off the coast of Somalia, or stealing from babies.

But seriously, this isn't "battling labor laws," this is breaking the law for a higher profit margin.

The laws being talked about are the ones where it is literally impossible to fire the employees unless they commit a crime. My company has an entire office full of people in Italy that do nothing because we have no more use for the facility but the local laws do not allow us to fire them. Instead we make them show up every day, for their 7-8 hours and sit in chairs and do nothing. They get paid for this. Some day they will quit and move on to other jobs and they just wont be replaced. However it's been about 3 years so far and they are still hanging around. France is even worse.

Not to mention the insane amount of paid time off many Europeans get. Honestly, I have a lot of friends in these countries. Many are out of work needlessly. If the government would unpucker its asshole and allow the crap people to be fired, the companies wouldnt be so afraid to hire new ones.

Re:Hate labor laws? (5, Insightful)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735339)

Not to mention the insane amount of paid time off many Europeans get.

What is insane is how little paid time off people get in the US. I am sure most americans would love to have a decent break every now and then without having to fear that the job is gone when they are back.

In fact, without having to fear.

Re:Hate labor laws? (-1, Flamebait)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735437)

I get two days off every week. I get 3 weeks off every year and I have 6 paid days off a year in the form of floating holidays and sick days. That's plenty unless you're a lazy bitch.

Re:Hate labor laws? (1)

fatmonkeyboy (257833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735477)

That's very good for you, but it's also not typical.

Re:Hate labor laws? (1)

fatmonkeyboy (257833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735509)

Hah. Whoosh. Two days off = Saturday / Sunday. Man, I fell into that one :p

Re:Hate labor laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735773)

I get two days off every week. I get 3 weeks off every year and I have 6 paid days off a year in the form of floating holidays and sick days.

That's very good for you, but most software engineers I know work more than 5 days every week (but generally are only paid for the first five). Some PHB has a bonus that depends on that.

Re:Hate labor laws? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735349)

The more business-astute in these countries just open a seperate business and close it when they need to let people go.

Re:Hate labor laws? (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735669)

You are right, but they are attempting to close that little loophole. The courts are starting to look very unfavorably towards companies that try to liquidate, and then start a new business with all the same customers and the employees they want, but without any of the debt or the other obligations.

Re:Hate labor laws? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735355)

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Re:Hate labor laws? (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735429)

My company has an entire office full of people in Italy that do nothing because we have no more use for the facility but the local laws do not allow us to fire them.

We call those types of people Senators over here in the USA.

Not to mention the insane amount of paid time off many Europeans get.

Paid time off... that sounds nice. I'm putting in 60 hours this week.

Many are out of work needlessly. If the government would unpucker its asshole and allow the crap people to be fired, the companies wouldnt be so afraid to hire new ones.

Sounds like the government may have been reacting to high levels of unemployment by making it more difficult to fire people for crap reasons just to rotate in someone at a lower wage. As I understand it, Europeans take quality of life a bit more seriously than over here -- national health care, a solvent social security system, generous unemployment and welfare packages, vacation days that aren't just stand-ins for sick days, and your CEOs over there don't make 4,500x more than your rank and file. It's almost like they... care about the working class.

Look, I can appreciate bad laws interfering with commerce and employment. I sympathize. But only to a point. The system we have over here which throws the working class under the bus is not an improvement. I do not often hear of cities in Europe being reclaimed by nature because it was infested with poor people and we didn't care enough to rebuild it. I don't hear about expensive cell phone plans with limited options and everything is locked in by vendor. I don't hear about nightmare housing situations where 20% of a country's homes sit vacant while nearly the same number of people are homeless.

You may have traded a lack of profit and industry production for a better quality of life and resent that fact, but take it from someone whose country chose the former over the latter: It's bad. It's real bad over here. For every person who "made it" and became a success story, there's dozens who are living hand to mouth and afraid they won't be able to afford food next week.

Europe has its problems... but choose wisely which ones you want to trade them for.

Re:Hate labor laws? (1)

Xemu (50595) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735439)

Instead we make them show up every day, for their 7-8 hours and sit in chairs and do nothing

If this is the best use of available resources your company's management can come up with, I suggest replacing management with smarter people.

Even asking these people to clean toilets would have made the company more money.

Re:Hate labor laws? (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735665)

The laws being talked about are the ones where it is literally impossible to fire the employees unless they commit a crime.

No, these are startups whining they can't hire anybody they want from anywhere they want, wages, visas, etc. be damned.

Re:Hate labor laws? (3, Informative)

geraud (932452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735853)

No, it's not impossible to fire people in Italy nor in France. Companies just have to pay adequate compensation for breaking employment contracts. The keyword here is contract, binding both parties (employee not getting unemployment benefits if they are the ones breaking it). Of course most are too cheap to pay.

Re:Hate labor laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735919)

Frankly that sounds more like a problem with your company. Why LET them just sit there? Has all of your company's business just ended and there is no work left at all for them to do? Why not have them researching ways to attract more business to provide more work for them to do?

I know there are terrible places to work in America, but I have personally never worked at a place where they just casually let you go because there's no more work. They have always tried to find a use for me before laying me off, and my last employer actually found me another new full-time job that paid MORE than they were paying me. I realize my experience is not typical.

Re:Hate labor laws? (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736097)

Not to mention the insane amount of paid time off many Europeans get. Honestly, I have a lot of friends in these countries. Many are out of work needlessly. If the government would unpucker its asshole and allow the crap people to be fired, the companies wouldnt be so afraid to hire new ones.

I agree that it's often too difficult to fire underachievers but sometimes this is also attributable to management capability as much as anything else.

On the topic of paid time off, in the UK there is a legal minimum of 28 days paid leave. This can include bank holidays such as Christmas and New Years Day. Typically, many workplaces offer between 20-25 days depending on length of service plus the eight bank holidays on top.

When taken throughout the year, these days are usually enough to allow employees to recharge their batteries, go travelling, and deal with all those extra situations like taking a few days off for a house move etc. A healthy and refreshed workforce is often a productive workforce.

Re:Hate labor laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43736203)

Except there is such a thing as "economic dismissal" in France. If there is no work for someone to do, and if the particular subsidiary is not making any money, you can let people go.

Re:Hate labor laws? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735369)

You might be a greedy scumbag, regardless of the amount of money you have already accrued. Check for the following symptoms: not wanting to pay taxes on money your employees earned for you, feeling it is totally acceptable to dumb toxic waste from your country off the coast of Somalia, or stealing from babies.

You must have missed the part where they said they want to do it legally. There. It's in bold now to be harder to ignore in your frenzied rush to get in a few licks without bothering to check and see that this is Europe, not the United States. You know, with the paying of taxes and the giving of benefits. They want to give those things away. Oh, and vacation days? They have those in Europe. It's some radical liberal idea that just hasn't caught on here. And as for toxic waste and stealing babies... well that escalated quickly... this is software development, not a nuclear weapons program with a side of trading in humans...

I've run into this (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735153)

I live outside the EU, but I'm looking to develop software in Switzerland. Apparently it's so difficult for a Swiss company to get a work visa for non-EU (Schengen area) workers, that they're almost never willing to go through the effort.

Unfortunately, the best way to get permission to live within a EU country is to have a job waiting for you. The chicken-and-egg problem is rather vexing.

Re:I've run into this (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735203)

The problem is that the EU allows most people from any EU nation to move to other EU nations. As the locals get fed up with millions of people arriving in their country with whom they have nothing in common, who often can't speak the same language, and who take many of the low-paid jobs that locals used to do, they demand that their politicians do something about immigration. The politicians can't do anything about EU immigration because it's controlled by the EU, so they impose tougher and tougher rules on non-EU immigration, which are counterproductive and fail to solve the problem, but win votes.

Re:I've run into this (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735281)

But does it really fail to solve the problem? Because at least in my case so far, it seems to have had precisely the effect the you said the locals wanted.

But I guess there are varying definitions of success. I suspect that, rightly or wrongly, they would rather have me: a highly educated person who wants to learn the local non-English languages and integrate with the culture, over some EU citizen who just wants to take advantage of generous welfare benefits.

Re:I've run into this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735329)

It seems to depend on country of the applicant. Even non-EU citizens from certain countries (USA, Japan, Israel and some others) seem to have a speedier access path to the EU labor market.

When capitalism meets socialism..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735157)

"intricate vagaries" always beget "fudges, shortcuts and workarounds"

No longer smuggling people in to pick strawberries. Now we smuggle people in to write code! (zeh are tekeeng hour zhobs)

captcha: limiters

"Importing" labor? (5, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735193)

Yeah, right.

It's more like: "We don't want to pay proper wages for good techies, so we are breaking/bending every rules to exploit cheap illegal labor and keeping more of the venture capitalist money for ourselves".

Seriously, I have seen this in many a start-up, in France and elsewhere: pay people low - even though their knowledge is what makes your bloody start-up possible - and fire them as soon as they start demanding correct wages and reasonable working hours. Meanwhile, the CEO is looking for the nearest Porsche dealership. It's simply disgusting, and it has nothing to do with France laws and regulations (which can be a pain in the neck, I admit).

Re:"Importing" labor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735295)

Yeah, right.

It's more like: "We don't want to pay proper wages for good techies, so we are breaking/bending every rules to exploit cheap illegal labor and keeping more of the venture capitalist money for ourselves".

Seriously, I have seen this in many a start-up, in France and elsewhere: pay people low - even though their knowledge is what makes your bloody start-up possible - and fire them as soon as they start demanding correct wages and reasonable working hours. Meanwhile, the CEO is looking for the nearest Porsche dealership. It's simply disgusting, and it has nothing to do with France laws and regulations (which can be a pain in the neck, I admit).

I agree that this is most likely the case. Simple economics suggests that by raising wages, you can fill the positions you are having so much difficulty filling.

Re:"Importing" labor? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735335)

It's more like: "We don't want to pay proper wages for good techies, so we are breaking/bending every rules to exploit cheap illegal labor and keeping more of the venture capitalist money for ourselves".

You're confusing Europe for the United States. We just made labor exploitation legal. Not exactly a new concept -- the H1-B visa program might have screwed up, but we built our entire railways at the turn of the last century on the backs of chinese immigrants. The European Union has much stricter laws regarding labor exploitation, and also immigration. It's flat out near-impossible to immigrate into many of those countries. And this is coming from someone who's highly trained, has a college degree, and is in a field highly sought-after.

They're not lying -- it really is hard to get people into the country legally. Europe's been suffering a "brain drain" for years -- it's easy to leave. It's hard to get in.

Re:"Importing" labor? (3, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735449)

You're confusing Europe for the United States. We just made labor exploitation legal. Not exactly a new concept -- the H1-B visa program might have screwed up, but we built our entire railways at the turn of the last century on the backs of chinese immigrants. The European Union has much stricter laws regarding labor exploitation, and also immigration. It's flat out near-impossible to immigrate into many of those countries.

Nope. First of all, re-read the original article: we are talking about people working illegally in European countries. It is entirely possible to move to Europe illegally - just like in the USA, get there with a student (or tourism) visa and just stay in the country instead of going back home. Sure, it sucks because you can be caught (asked to provide valid ID, etc.) and sent back to your country, opening a bank account, renting a place, etc. all of these things are somewhat harder to do when you are illegal, but they can be done in every European country that I know of.

Second, European laws are sinking very fast to the level of the USA. More and more EU countries, under pressure by the same kind of people that are described in the article, are dismantling the only thing that makes life bearable: the protection they gave to their workers. In France, where I reside currently, a law is being considered that would make hiring/firing even easier than in the USA, while reducing social benefits, including firing compensations and unemployment benefits. And it's the same thing pretty much all over Europe.

Remember that unemployment is rising to never-before-seen levels. Youth unemployment stands around 25%-30% in Southern Europe, and sometimes much higher. In the meantime, start-ups are looking at illegal immigrants for techie jobs... Why is that? Because, yes, these people want to stuff as much money in their pockets as possible.

Again, this has nothing to do with finding labor - it has everything to do with screwing Joe Techie. Same as the US H1-B visas.

Re:"Importing" labor? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735607)

Remember that unemployment is rising to never-before-seen levels. Youth unemployment stands around 25%-30% in Southern Europe, and sometimes much higher. In the meantime, start-ups are looking at illegal immigrants for techie jobs... Why is that? Because, yes, these people want to stuff as much money in their pockets as possible.

We're at 25-30% right now and have none of those protections. We just lie through our teeth about how we calculate our unemployment. I'm not sure giving up those protections will net the result you're looking for. You'll still have unemployment, except now life for 100% of your population will suck, instead of 25%.

great reasoning! (3, Insightful)

Njovich (553857) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735199)

Along the same line of reasoning, you should just steal that Porsche that you are selling, as it would have been impossible, or simply too expensive, to buy it officially.

Yes, of course it's a pain in the ass that you can't just hire people in 1st world countries for 3rd world prices. However, if we want to maintain our social system, that's not viable. So they should either hire them in the low wage country themselves, or pay a good price for this skill they say is not available on the local market (depending on country, that means a salary between 2500 and 5000 euro per month to be eligable for a highly skilled migrant visa). If it's really such a uniquely skilled person, that should be no problem of course?

Re:great reasoning! (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735627)

of course it's a pain in the ass that you can't just hire people in 1st world countries for 3rd world prices

But ... but ... but without that a third rate knockoff of the last second rate copy of a failed social networking idea might not stay around long enough for the founders and VC's to rake off some skim. Without "people in 1st world countries for 3rd world prices" it's hard to make money. Sometimes you need good original ideas and to run things well. Outrageous!

Re:great reasoning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735745)

You don't have to own a Porsche, so stealing one is ridiculous, but if you don't need or want a Porsche, having to pay for one is just as ridiculous.

As for maintaining your social system, perhaps you can't afford your social system. Forcing people to pay to support your system is only going to work until they get sick of it an leave. And more ominously, if you make new businesses have to bear that burden... you just won't have new businesses.

The only people who can consistently afford to pay high wages are big corporations, and those guys screw with you in other ways to make up the difference. They can afford to twist the screws, or open subsidiaries overseas if you annoy them enough.

I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap buildings (2)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735211)

Capitalists want the cheapest labor possible. They don't want to pay for frivolous things like health insurance, unemployment insurance, vacations, sick leave, etc. Europe has better protections for workers than the US but both are pretty onerous when you just want people to work hard for no money. That's why China and Bangladesh are so attractive. You can exploit people there much better than in more developed countries.
Yeah! Capitalism!

 

Re:I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap buildi (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735579)

Capitalists want the cheapest labor possible.

The main past-time of so-called entrepreneurs seems to be whining to mommy government to give them special breaks because their business models are otherwise unprofitable. Funny how, the current recession (exacerbated by the austerity preferred by most so-called entrepreneurs) notwithstanding, there are lots of successful European companies. If that brilliant startup of yours can't hack it in that environment, it's probably because the startup ain't so brilliant. Heaven forbid any "entrepreneur" or their investors admit that though. Given cheap enough inputs, and consumers who still have money in their pockets because they don't have to work under the same conditions, any idiot can make money. It takes brains to do it with more than Dickensian labor rates though.

China or Bangladesh? Way too expensive and over-regulated. After recent events Bangladesh my even enforce building codes! The Libertopia you want is Somalia. Cheap labor, no pesky laws, no need for visas. What's not to like?

Re:I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap buildi (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735895)

Well, defending the facility and all your lines of communication against land pirates [telegraph.co.uk] would suck something fierce. Your physical security costs will be breathtaking. But it might still profit better than fair labor, ethical tax payment, and socially responsible environmental practices.

Once you've sold your soul, the rest is pretty affordable.

Re:I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap buildi (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735763)

And consumers want the cheapest prices available for products.

So, riddle me this: how do you pay your workers a lot of money, but offer a cheap product?

Re: I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap build (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735959)

Maybe the investors, shareholders and CEOs could take in less money? If the CEO needs cheaper workers, maybe the company could also use a cheaper CEO?

Re:I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap buildi (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736015)

So, riddle me this: how do you pay your workers a lot of money, but offer a cheap product?

Henry Ford figured it out. Anyone who can't doesn't deserve to stay in business.

Re:I hear Bangladesh has cheap labor, cheap buildi (2)

mspohr (589790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736021)

Apple seems to be able to charge a lot for their computers and phones. They use cheap Chinese labor so they make a lot of profit. They could pay workers better if they weren't so greedy.
If Walmart took its entire $22 billion of annual pre-tax income and used all of it to give each one of its 2.1 million employees a raise, this would amount to about $10,000 a year apiece.
In 2004, a year in which Wal-Mart reported $9.1 billion in profits, the retailer's California employees collected $86 million in public assistance, according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley. Other studies have revealed widespread use of publicly funded health care by Wal-Mart employees in numerous states. In 2004, Democratic staffers of the House education and workforce committee calculated that each 200-employee Wal-Mart store costs taxpayers an average of more than $400,000 a year, based on entitlements ranging from energy-assistance grants to Medicaid to food stamps to WIC—the federal program that provides food to low-income women with children.

Capitalism puts the greediest bastards in charge of the economy and the society adopts those values.
More enlightened countries have laws to protect workers, pay them more, etc.

What are your values?

In Germany at least, things are trying to be fixed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735263)

This is new-ish http://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/making-it/quick-check/ . I guess it depends on WHERE you want to import your developers from.

Outsource to HCL (1)

turgid (580780) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735265)

They'll bring in fresh Indian graduates for no more than 3 months at a time at 20% each of what you're paying your local developers. When one guy finishes, he'll go back to India and his replacement will arrive. The only fly in the ointment is that he'll have to be trained from zero. And the cycle repeats.

Bias Much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735357)

Any summary that actually includes "the cult of entrepreneurship" is already so hopelessly biased as to not be worth reading.

Typo in article (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735361)

the fudges, shortcuts, workarounds and, in some cases, 'strategic decision-making' are — just about — getting their companies the talent they need.

the fudges, shortcuts, workarounds and, in some cases, 'strategic decision-making' are — just about — getting their companies the price they need.

FTFY.

Those laws exist for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735469)

Maybe they should follow them.

Slashdot and freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735563)

Typical Slashdotter: free software, but not the free movement of labor

Tried Running A Bar This Way (5, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735667)

not only to avoid France's notoriously onerous labor laws but also because it would have been impossible, or simply too expensive, to import them officially.

I took the same approach when I opened a bar that offered drinks for half the price of the competition. I couldn't afford to buy my booze officially, so instead I was knocking over liquor stores. It's the only way I could make my business model work, which completely justifies it.

France isn't representative of Europe (3, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735799)

Europe isn't like the USA. The countries have different languages and laws. Not like state laws in the USA, but real country laws. Sure, EU legislation is deminishing these, but there still is a lot more difference in EU countries than there is in the USA. French labor laws are considered borderline communistic by some other EU countries. On top of that, a lot of French IT companies insist that candidates speak fluently French, while in a lot of EU countries English is sufficient, even if that's not the native language where the company is. In the UK, Netherlands, Germany and several nordic countries, this whole article is not relevant at all. There are probably several other countries to which this applies as well, but I have no direct contacts there so I can't speak for those.

startup whiners (5, Insightful)

joe545 (871599) | about a year and a half ago | (#43735889)

That whole article sums up what is wrong with these venture capitalist funded start-ups; they want to compete on a different playing field than established companies. They want to be able to import cheap labour from other countries as they aren't willing to pay the going rate for local engineers. They don't want to register their employees properly as they will be liable for more taxes and to give their employees the rights they are entitled to.

As a European, I'm glad these guys are finding it difficult to ride roughshod over the laws has to protect workers. If you can't afford to do things the proper way then your business is not viable. Complaining that you can't find exploitative loopholes that depress wages for the rest of us is laughable.

Re:startup whiners (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43736061)

That whole article sums up what is wrong with these venture capitalist funded start-ups; they want to compete on a different playing field than established companies.

That's only in Europe. In the US we have a level playing field: both new and established companies, large and small, demand the right to import the cheapest labor they can.

Happening in Canada as well. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43735893)

Tim Horton's, a freaking donut shop, has been using the 'skilled worker' loophole in labour laws here to import "temporary foreign workers" (H1-B analogue). They were claiming there were no Canadian workers able to fill the positions. At what they are willing to pay, perhaps, but that's the real problem isn't it?

Royal Bank of Canada was playing similar games, under the guise of "internal position transfers" which were supposed to be limited to people with unique expertise, and for short terms like 6 weeks -- but keeping them for 2 years or more.

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