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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the no-workers-rights-for-you dept.

Microsoft 282

theodp (442580) writes So, what does Microsoft do for an encore after laying off 18,000 employees with a hilariously bad memo? Issue another bad memo — Changes to Microsoft Network and Building Access for External Staff — "to introduce a new policy [retroactive to July 1] that will better protect our Microsoft IP and confidential information." How so? "The policy change affects [only] US-based external staff (including Agency Temporaries, Vendors and Business Guests)," Microsoft adds, "and limits their access to Microsoft buildings and the Microsoft corporate network to a period of 18 months, with a required six-month break before access may be granted again." Suppose Microsoft feels that's where the NSA went wrong with Edward Snowden? And if any soon-to-be-terminated Microsoft employees hope to latch on to a job with a Microsoft external vendor to keep their income flowing, they best think again. "Any Microsoft employee who separated from Microsoft on or after July 1, 2014," the kick-em-while-they're-down memo explains, "will be required to take a minimum 6-month break from access between the day the employee separates from Microsoft and the date when the former employee may begin an assignment as an External Staff performing services for Microsoft." Likely not just to prevent leaks, but also to prevent any contractors from being reclassified as employees.

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This is just a repeat (5, Interesting)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47504935)

This is a repeat of 2k9. They laid us off scheduled the 4th of July, but we were removed from our posts on 4th of May, and our access revoked. And while they hired the same number of people immediately the people who were laid off could not apply for 5 months.

Re:This is just a repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504971)

This is a repeat of 2k9.

For me as a customer it's a repeat of 2k1. I stopped using their products then and haven't gone back.

Every time I check in to see how they're doing, I'm reminded of why I made that choice and what a good decision it was.

Re:This is just a repeat (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 months ago | (#47505009)

It's just the new strategy to right-size, right-shore and right-fit. In laymans terms, fire employees like crazy, and then complain that there are no qualified engineers available as they can't find any (because they can't rehire the ones they fired*) to fill the void, so more H1B visas are critically needed in the IT sector.

* Omitted from congressional declaration

Re:This is just a repeat (5, Insightful)

gabereiser (1662967) | about 5 months ago | (#47505015)

omg this ^. This is all about H1B visas after congress blocked their request for more amidst layoffs. Screw microsoft and the products they produce. They can die a slow painful death and rid us of their filth forever (I'm looking at you Windows Tablets...)

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 months ago | (#47505077)

It's the modern executive level talent to confuse and befuddle the poor masses and give the politicritters the ammunition they need to sway the pockets and minds of the ruling class. Well played Microsoft. They will probably get it through.

Re:This is just a repeat (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#47505401)

can die a slow painful death and rid us of their filth forever

Hold on, as much as Microsoft has ticked me off for 3+ decades, I don't want to see Google with a monopoly either. MS kind of keeps them in check.

So let's compromise, and watch MS get punched in the face a few times, okay 50 times, but not knocked out, just wobbly.

Question for someone with Legal? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47505311)

If you do not sign an agreement when hired, is it legal for Microsoft to bar employment after termination? While it's surely possible that MS makes many sign such an agreement at hire time, for those that don't I'd be contacting a Lawyer for a class action lawsuit.

Re:Question for someone with Legal? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505339)

#1: WA state is employment at will. (Read: Sign this... or we will have no more will)
#2: Sign this or we end the "contract" (Note: There is no "contract" ... it is "temporary employment". -- aka "contingent staffing" )

I recently had my contract ended at MS when another (temp) employee screwed up ... and the manager said that *they* screwed up. (Still scratching my head on that one). I have NO interest in working at MS again.

Re:Question for someone with Legal? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505377)

If you do not sign an agreement when hired, is it legal for Microsoft to bar employment after termination? While it's surely possible that MS makes many sign such an agreement at hire time, for those that don't I'd be contacting a Lawyer for a class action lawsuit.

They're doing it to protect themselves from lawsuits. Not so much from disgruntled employees, but from the labor regulators.

I quit an employer about a year ago, and they needed some help. I was happy to help as a one-off contract. I got paid as much (or more!) on contract as I did when I was an employee, and that's after taking into account SS taxes. Some months later, the labor regulators in my state came down on me like a ton of bricks looking for some excuse to reclassify me as employee in order to try and fuck over my former employer. This was a case where I left on good terms and took the contract only because I didn't want to see my replacement suffer unnecessarily. They weren't fucking me over, I charged the fuckers a fair rate and helped some friends out, had a good time for a few weeks, and made a few bucks in the process.

That said, Microsoft has been a bad actor when it comes to having contractors work as employees, but in not having to pay employee benefits and (which is the part the labor regulators care about) unemployment insurance taxes.

And that said, I'm still fucking pissed that my state labor regulator basically told me I wasn't a contractor and had no right to negotiate a contract like that, and basically scared me into not being able to help them in the future. Fuck Microsoft sideways for its past history of misclassifying employees as 1099s, but fuck my state regulator even harder for making it impossible for me to help my friends as my old boss struggles to keep an old startup afloat.

Re:This is just a repeat (3, Interesting)

cloud.pt (3412475) | about 5 months ago | (#47505325)

In the US it might be H1B visas to hire cheap specialty workers from abroad. In the EU (where apparetnly most of this is happening), it's basically the same strategy but applied to EU supported fresh-outta-college internships (co-paid salaries tending to ZERO by employers), basically sending off the worst of the elders, and enslave the f*ck out of the young prodigies who they will scopp with mild salaries and a "promissing" future. This cycle happens in every major company in Europe. I have seen it in 3: Bosch, PT.pt and Siemens

Re:This is just a repeat (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505481)

The upshot is that they cannot re-hire Balmer imediately...

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#47505507)

It's just the new strategy to right-size, right-shore and right-fit. In laymans terms, fire employees like crazy, and then complain that there are no qualified engineers available as they can't find any (because they can't rehire the ones they fired*) to fill the void, so more H1B visas are critically needed in the IT sector.

* Omitted from congressional declaration

Except they can be re-hired. It's simply Microsoft policy that says they can't be hired, and there's nothing that the employee does that prevent them from working with Microsoft prior to the 6 month cooling off period.

The policy affects the employees more (they can't work at Microsoft for 6 months), than it affects Microsoft (who is free to hire them prior to 6 months, all they need is to strike that policy away with a stroke of the pen).

I don't think Congress would be too happy to be told there is nobody around because their company policy prohibits it. After all, it's like saying you can't hire anyone because you don't hire anyone who wears glasses, and the only people applying for jobs are people who wear glasses.

It's a policy decision that really could hurt Microsoft in the end when Congress comes up and asks why they can't rehire some of those 18.000 people instead. If Microsoft answers that company policy prohibits re-hiring within 6 months of dismissal, they'd be laughed out of the capital.n Basically they'd be shooting themselves in the foot - you want people and your company policy prohibits it for a period of time? Either change policy, or wait because hey, that situation will resolve itself!

Re:This is just a repeat (2)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 5 months ago | (#47505031)

...the people who were laid off could not apply for 5 months.

Why would you apply to work for the same company that just kicked you to the curb? I'd tell 'em to go to hell.

Re:This is just a repeat (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505043)

Because you just got kicked to the curb and now you can't find work elsewhere?

Re:This is just a repeat (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47505085)

...the people who were laid off could not apply for 5 months.

Why would you apply to work for the same company that just kicked you to the curb? I'd tell 'em to go to hell.

Never let pride get in the way of sound business sense. If my options were working the grill at Arbies or Microsoft, the next words out of my mouth would be "Yes Mr Balmer, laying off all us slackers really taught us a lesson sir. Would you like me to buff all your golf clubs now?"

Re:This is just a repeat (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505123)

You think you even have the option of working at Arby's? The manager will laugh in your face before telling you to get the fuck out.

Re:This is just a repeat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505255)

I don't eat Arby's?

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505293)

Never let pride get in the way of sound business sense. If my options were working the grill at Arbies or Microsoft, the next words out of my mouth would be "Yes Mr Balmer, laying off all us slackers really taught us a lesson sir. Would you like me to buff all your golf clubs now?"

If my new position at Microsoft was polishing Balmer's balls, I think I'd rather take the Arbies job.

Re:This is just a repeat (0)

Ziest (143204) | about 5 months ago | (#47505349)

I just got the mental image of you rolling over on your back and peeing on yourself just like a dog going into submission.

Re:This is just a repeat (2)

dryeo (100693) | about 5 months ago | (#47505427)

I just got the mental image of you rolling over on your back and peeing on yourself just like a dog going into submission.

Which is how many employers want their employees to act.

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47505547)

The very LAST thing I can use is a yes-man. Then again, my job is security. I need people who have the balls to stand up against self-important board members who can't identify and threaten them with termination (amongst more unpleasant things) if my security people don't overlook said board members' blunders.

Re:This is just a repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505113)

Microsoft employees aren't good at anything but being Microsoft employees. They're just not qualified to do anything else.
It rewires the brain in a bad way and nobody cares enough to do anything about it.

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505125)

Suddenly you forget that any filesystem other than NTFS exists.

You can't write code that works on any other OS.

You bow down to the great shrine of Gates.

You're screwed. Totally screwed.

NTFS, exFAT, UDF (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47505195)

Suddenly you forget that any filesystem other than NTFS exists.

Not This Fscking S#!+ again. True, Microsoft has been trolling the IT world by patenting exFAT and getting SD Card Association to mandate its use in SDXC. But supported Windows desktop operating systems (since Vista) can read and write UDF on flash drives [superuser.com] . Or do specific Microsoft products have problems with UDF?

Re:NTFS, exFAT, UDF (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 5 months ago | (#47505463)

Considering I still encounter Microsoft products that have problems with FAT32, yeah, there probably are some that have problems with UDF.

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47505271)

I thought it rewires the liver

http://xkcd.com/323/ [xkcd.com]

Re:This is just a repeat (3, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | about 5 months ago | (#47505303)

Microsoft employees aren't good at anything but being Microsoft employees. They're just not qualified to do anything else.

That's funny... but I doubt it's true. Many MS employees provides support or work on projects for other companies... And they will surely be in demand, you're basically giving up highly qualified Microsoft experts.


While I personally, would like to avoid touching Microsoft services and products, let's just admit they are a giant, and other companies will continue to rely on Microsoft products. Just, think of the all the share-point plugins and what not...

Re:This is just a repeat (0)

knightghost (861069) | about 5 months ago | (#47505329)

highly qualified Microsoft experts.

Sounds like a double oxymoron to me.

Re:This is just a repeat (1)

linearZ (710002) | about 5 months ago | (#47505495)

MS employees provides support or work on projects for other companies...

Many MS employees were employees of other companies. And then MS bought them.

Re:This is just a repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505187)

I'd apply for management and move up the food chain until I could fire the ones responsible for choosing me to be fired.

Re: This is just a repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505227)

Along these same lines, quick question: Why hasn't anyone attempted to burn MS down by now? I'm just curious.

Re:This is just a repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505479)

You realize they can still apply for non-vendor positions, i.e. FTE right now, right?

I was in the same situation once (3, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | about 5 months ago | (#47504939)

I was in the same situation once. Laid off by Northern Telecom in the late '80s, I started work as a contractor at their head office three weeks later for double what I'd been paid as an employee. :)

Re:I was in the same situation once (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 5 months ago | (#47505201)

I was in the same situation once. Laid off by Northern Telecom in the late '80s, I started work as a contractor at their head office three weeks later for double what I'd been paid as an employee. :)

I was once part of a site closure, which resulted in some employees (unfortunately, not me) getting both early retirement (pension payments) and re-hired as contractors at significantly higher rates than their salaries had been.

Re:I was in the same situation once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505305)

This is often due to accounting.

Not about leaks (5, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47504947)

Not sure what blocking re-employment has to do with leaks. If anything driving people to other companies is likely to cause MORE leaks.

This is almost certainly about eliminating the risk of contingent workforce being classified as employees. My own employer does the same thing, though it does not bar long-term relationships as long as the company doesn't interview individual workers. That is, if we hire Fred to help out with something, then Fred is gone in two years and must take a break. On the other hand, if we hire Acme janitorial to clean our trash and they send over Fred then he can work for years, but we don't get a veto on who they send/etc.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand it does make things harder on those who end up having to move on. On the other hand, before the policy we used to have a LOT of people who would be dragged along in a contract position with the elusive promise of a hire that would take years to happen. The policy forces managers to act if they don't want to lose somebody.

Re:Not about leaks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504995)

Contractors and "perma-temps" are causing massive state audits as the state-level employment agencies are trying to prevent businesses from reclassifying their workforce in a way that avoids paying the unemployment insurance tax. My company's policy is to put any temps through a huge number of documentation loopholes proving that they are getting work from multiple clients, preventing them for working for longer than 11 months straight (with a 3 month break), and anyone who leaves is not allowed to consult or perform any work for at least 12 months.

This is just insane. If the goal is top keep people employed, then the state and feds should be removing barriers to employment (and keep people off the unemployment rolls), not causing both the company and the employee headaches and forcing "break times". Are we in France now?

Re:Not about leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505035)

Alternatively they should legislate to prevent companies from being able to use those "break time" loop holes.

Re:Not about leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505105)

...which would result in more "disposable" H1B's getting the jobs, rather than your intended outcome of having more employees and fewer contractors.

Beware unintended consequences of policy.

Re:Not about leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505283)

If there were more H1B's available, they'd already have been hired.

Re:Not about leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505313)

Not if every company is just passing them around, round robin, thanks to proposed "break time" policies. I'm sure middle man firms would crop up to help "launder" the circulating H1B's or other consultants.

Re:Not about leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505133)

in many cases this isn't even the employers desire. Many people want to stay on as contractors earning contractor rates and the forced breaks are a good way to get them to make a decision to either become a permanent staff member to stay employed or go through the hassle of finding new work for 6 months every 18 months.

Re:Not about leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505017)

Been there done that: I've done work via agencies and (around here at least) there's usually a period after which it is cheaper for the company to buy your contract... by that time you're usually already so fed up with having to do so much more than the "regular" employees just to keep your gig that you can't wait to get a change of scenery. Also it doesn't really help that while your on an external contract you get worse pay, no benefits and no departmental bonuses while doing exactly the same work.

Specifically... (5, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 5 months ago | (#47505117)

Specifically, states like California are now trying to reclassify temporary employees as permanent in order to collect additional tax revenue. This happened with Apple before, and they also now have a 6 month rule. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]

Microsoft is particularly sensitive to the issue, given that it was a lawsuit against them that triggered the whole idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

So this has nothing to do with the laid off employees (unless they are laying off contractors first, which is pretty common, if they can).

Re:Specifically... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505307)

Oh, you mean where companies have been illegally classifying permanent employees as temporary? That bit?

Sounds like it's time to outlaw rehire time delays like this, since the scumbags found a loophole.

Or perhaps the solution is to simply outlaw temporary hiring for any company over a certain size, say 200 employees or so.

Re:Not about leaks (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47505141)

It's simple, you hire people to do the jobs that need getting done.

We, the employees are largely to blame though. I work with a lot of contractors that love their flexibility and how great it is... until the market takes a crap on their heads. Tech workers need to stop pretending like they'll be 18 forever. I know when things get bad you can hide in the basement and play wow until they pick back up, but really? Wouldn't it be better to just work a normal job and not have to screw around like that?

see, we need more H-1b visas (0)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 5 months ago | (#47505175)

See, we need to bring in more H-1B talent to take these American jobs, because we will not let the people that we fired even work for our vendors.

Re:Not about leaks (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#47505369)

the way nokia handled plenty of contracting was that they were used just so that they didn't need to give them nokia perks when put off from the project(laying off).

I should know. When applying for a job(got tipped off to "call this guy" who told me to contact another guy) I went straight to interview with the company contracting on behalf of the company I would be "working" for(2 layers deep subcontracting from day 0 of that gig, makes no real sense except from the eventual layoffing perks viewpoint - and for screwing over the unions since both the layer 1 subcon company and nokia were doing some layoffs). every day while there we walked roughly 100 meters to daily meeting at the very nearby Nokia offices - and Nokia people greenlighted me to work on the project, the "interview" was a joke because it was with two guys who would not be making the decision, and Nokia was used for getting the local equivalent of secret service background check done(which really just is a check for criminal record but they make it sound fancier). so why didn't Nokia hire me directly, they knew I was on the job market, they knew I was uncontracted at that point in time? well, for easier layoffs and so that some good buddy guys could get to shave my pay on two layers.

oh and the whole Nokia crap from ms was solely and only to keep windows phone alive! that was their ONLY interest in the company and in insertion of Elop. and now they're killing the nokia X to keep windows phone alive(selling at all) since customers are liking nokia X more, as if people were choosing nokia x because it's nokia and would go for windows phone in the same 80 bucks category.

if you don't know what Nokia X is, it's a 80 bucks dualcore android phone available in asia, africa etc markets.

and the now laid off people in Finland in practice can go work whoever the fuck they want after they get laid off, prob is maybe 10% of them actually have usable skills and mindset... but their ex-nokia bosses aren't going to care for shit who they go work for and what "secrets" they take with them(there's no secrets to take with them so..).

Re:Not about leaks (1)

Pvt_Waldo (459439) | about 5 months ago | (#47505391)

Exactly. HP does this with contractors (2 years work, 100 days you can't work).

no applicants need apply (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504953)

There are no jobs in America. There are only fake job listings posted by deceitful HR departments.

Workers unite! Strike against HR itself! Stop applying for fake jobs!

Oh who am I kidding. You stupid fucks are too stupid to strike. Fuckers. All of you.

Re:no applicants need apply (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505065)

Slashdot is filled with Dice-heads that worship the ground the CEOs walk on. They are too busy being sheep to analyze what is happening around them.

Double Hit to the local economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504955)

I wonder how local governments will feel about this. Not only do they have ratepayers who have lost their jobs, but those rate payers can't then get jobs with other local companies with roles open for Microsoft work. In bigger cities it might not matter but in smaller areas that might be quite a cross section of the local economy blocked to the ex-staff. Pretty much guaranteeing them needing to move.
But I guess that is just corporate behaviour 101.

Re:Double Hit to the local economy (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505067)

WHO GIVES A SHIT!

Give them all the H1Bs they want for. Hell, give them twice what they ask for. Government is for the corporations, not the citizens, dummy!

Columbine The Microsoft Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504959)

Microsoft "Managers" are managing, for a change.

It it all about classification of employee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504969)

Microsoft adds, "and limits their access to Microsoft buildings and the Microsoft corporate network to a period of 18 months, with a required six-month break before access may be granted again."

This is standard operating procedure in the financial industry. The whole reason is to avoid an uppity contractor from getting too buddy-buddy with staff and then turning around and suing either Microsoft or their contracting company for not giving them employee benefits. Nothing to do with NSA and snowden antics. That wouldn't solve the access problem with snowden anyway

Re:It it all about classification of employee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504977)

uppity

The white race is the uppity race nowadays. Keep whitey down, where he belongs!

Re:It it all about classification of employee (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505071)

Screw that. Every person without a trustfund or an executive job is "uppity".

Intel does this. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504975)

I am a contractor (green badge) at Intel, and I have to abide by the same policy. 18 months on, six months off. It's no big deal.

In fact, I kind of like it. I know when my "use by" date is, and I can't negotiate it, so I don't get too comfortable. Not that I don't like working at Intel, I do, but I try never to get too comfortable as a contractor.

Re:Intel does this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47504991)

You enjoying your badge, slave? How precious.

Considering the success of Microsoft's Mobile IP (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 5 months ago | (#47504981)

It's akin to someone's 80 year old, 400 lb grandmother barricading herself in her house with a shotgun to prevent 20-something horny frat boys from taking advantage of her body.

Re:Considering the success of Microsoft's Mobile I (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505001)

Grandma's still got a chance of being raped if those frat boys are drunk enough and high enough.

Re:Considering the success of Microsoft's Mobile I (5, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | about 5 months ago | (#47505029)

Grandma's still got a chance of being raped if those frat boys are drunk enough and high enough.

... Which pretty much explains every 'Enterprise IT' purchasing decision ever.

Re:Considering the success of Microsoft's Mobile I (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505053)

Grandma's still got a chance of being raped if those frat boys are drunk enough and high enough.

Well, I guess that's one way to describe why people buy Microsoft products...

Re:Considering the success of Microsoft's Mobile I (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505079)

Mobile Internet Protocol?

FUCK you and your marketingspeak.

I read that as RFID (2, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#47504983)

And wondered was M$ chipping their employees now

Re:I read that as RFID (0)

kgwilliam (998911) | about 5 months ago | (#47505011)

That is clever how you use the $ in the name.

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47505235)

What else would you use for a company that started out publishing BASIC interpreters for 8-bit microcomputers, where string variables' names always ended with $? (DEFSTR, DECLARE, and unnumbered lines came in the 16-bit era.)

Re:10 LET M$ = "Microsoft" (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47505333)

MS$ or Microsoft$

Non-descriptive variable names are a sign of poor quality code.

Re:I read that as RFID (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505081)

Welcome to the TRULY disposable workforce. Do your 18 months then they Fargo your ass.

laying off...but needs more H-1B's (5, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 5 months ago | (#47504993)

For those needing another reason not to purchase Microsoft products...they just fired 18,000 people but are lobbying the government for an ever increasing number of wage slaves from India and other countries. They can hire these poor saps at lower salaries, bully them into working long hours for no additional pay (it's that bad 'ol offshore middleman that's blamed for the sweatshop hours) while backhanding profits to cronies in these offshore companies. Meanwhile, they whine that they can't find any qualified local staff. Actually, they just can't find local staff willing to work for third world salaries while living with first world expenses and taxes. Just say no.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505041)

For those needing another reason not to purchase Microsoft products...they just fired 18,000 people but are lobbying the government for an ever increasing number of wage slaves from India and other countries. They can hire these poor saps at lower salaries, bully them into working long hours for no additional pay (it's that bad 'ol offshore middleman that's blamed for the sweatshop hours) while backhanding profits to cronies in these offshore companies. Meanwhile, they whine that they can't find any qualified local staff. Actually, they just can't find local staff willing to work for third world salaries while living with first world expenses and taxes. Just say no.

No!!!!

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505069)

This is simple business 101, and there's no reason to take it personally. Of course Microsoft is going to do what's best for Microsoft. They do not owe you a job, or a 6-figure paycheck.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (1, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505099)

Yeah, but "it's only business" purposefully ignores the fact that these are people, people that have kids in many cases. It also overlooks the fact that these people helped them make money hand over fist. Yeah, they are selling shitty products to Microsoft zombies in a lot of cases, but they still are people.

Yeah... they make the company money. Nothing is owed to them. Let the fuckers starve. Welcome to the US corporate jungle, where you're not allowed up in the tree to get a banana while the monkeys in suits shit on you.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505199)

Well, at least when all work is outsorced or automated away, there wont be anyone to actually buy the products. but plenty of desperate people with no income and a nice rich Redmond to loot...

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (5, Insightful)

blackiner (2787381) | about 5 months ago | (#47505213)

This sort of mentality is precisely what is wrong with the country. Companies no longer invest in their country, in their local community. They instead see people as things to hire and fire at a whim, solely to suit their current needs. This of course leads them to go to great lengths creating 'education' reforms, and 'immigration' reforms, their way of creating more labor that they can exploit at will. Jobs get offshored, wages go down, companies no longer invest in employees, no longer train employees, and the nation's people suffer. Just look at our rising unemployment and lowering standard of living, the people are no longer being empowered, and general morale plummets. The end goal of modern corporate America is quite simple, really: The complete and utter commoditization of humanity.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 5 months ago | (#47505343)

If the Company isn't acting in the Nations best interest then the Nation has no need of the Company.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505503)

This is what you get when there is no strong trade union presence.

As bad a rap as unions often get from the right wingers and (obviously) corporations and corporate-controlled media, these situations are where a good union can organize and stand up to this bullshit.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#47505543)

Well to be fair they're mostly firing a bunch of Finns.

Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#47505289)

This is simple business 101, and there's no reason to take it personally. Of course Microsoft is going to do what's best for Microsoft. They do not owe you a job, or a 6-figure paycheck.

...and we don't owe Microsoft our patronage - it works both ways, which is what GP was calling out.

Stephen Elop... (4, Insightful)

gwstuff (2067112) | about 5 months ago | (#47505019)

...seems to be a great reason not to work for MS. He and Microsoft took one of the finest companies in the world, turned it inside out, and devoured it like a panic-stricken predator conscious that the end of the path it was on was in sight. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the acquisition of Nokia only bought time. When you rip open the goose that lays the golden eggs, it stops working.

Re:Stephen Elop... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505139)

Soooo... by the end of next decade they are building a Linux distro.

The trick is that it will only run a version of Microsoft Office and almost nothing else. it will have a packing system that reboots the machine every 15 minutes, and have it's very own version of gcc that has tons of undocumented function calls.

Re:Stephen Elop... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505241)

Well, that's still more capable than ChromeOS. Fuck, it's still better than recent releases of Ubuntu, too!

Linux already runs Office (1)

ulatekh (775985) | about 5 months ago | (#47505301)

by the end of next decade they are building a Linux distro. The trick is that it will only run a version of Microsoft Office and almost nothing else.

Linux already runs Office. I have MS Office installed under Wine [winehq.org] and it's always run fine for me.

Re:Linux already runs Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505539)

Yup, that has been a non-issue for the last decade or more.

Abusing redundancy payouts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505127)

Not sure what the rules are at MS or CA, but I took voluntary redundancy from my job last year. That company had a minimum 6 month stand down from being re-employed there. This was to prevent people getting a large redundancy payout (proportional to time employed) and getting a job back at the same company the next day. I took my 6 month payout, had a nice two month holiday and got a job at another company for more $.

I don't see anything sinister with this policy from MS.

What about the lunch ladies? (1)

LMariachi (86077) | about 5 months ago | (#47505135)

External staff is an umbrella term for individuals performing services for Microsoft on a non-permanent basis. Examples include consultants, temporary contract workers, vendor workers, freelancers, independent professionals and contractors, staff augmentation, and business guests.

Nothing in that language excludes cafeteria workers, janitors, HVAC repairmen, etc. Does MS really mean to restrict blue-collar workers to 18-month stints too? Their employers won’t necessarily have another gig available for them, and they’re far less likely than coders and managers to have a financial cushion.

Re:What about the lunch ladies? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 months ago | (#47505145)

The only irreplaceable people have "president" or "vice-president" in their title.

Re:What about the lunch ladies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505197)

Obama is replaceable.

Re:What about the lunch ladies? (1)

grahamwest (30174) | about 5 months ago | (#47505179)

They cover that in the full memo:

Q: Why do some supplier employees not take breaks when others do?

A: There are some business functions and processes that have been fully outsourced (Outsourcing), such as cafeteria services, landscaping and call centers. These Outsourcing engagements are limited, require a certain set of criteria be met and must go through a rigorous approval process.

Re:What about the lunch ladies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505449)

Awww... Why did you have to tell him that? If he is too lazy to read the full memo, then leave him to wallow in his ignorance.

--
Scientific advancement is a constant. - Max Planck

Ballmer Meets w\Donald Sterling as Microsoft Burns (2)

theodp (442580) | about 5 months ago | (#47505137)

Hey, looks like Donald Sterling's getting a $2 billion dollar Microsoft "severance" package [slashdot.org] . From TMZ [tmz.com] : "Ballmer went to Sterling's Beverly Hills estate Monday at 3 PM, along with Shelly Sterling's lawyer, Pierce O'Donnell ... who brokered the $2 billion deal."

Having recently endured layoffs (1)

Coditor (2849497) | about 5 months ago | (#47505147)

I was constantly amazed at how clueless the executives were when talking about the company with people being laid off present: "We're excited about the future things are going to be great, everything is roses, etc". Like they were saying "getting rid of all of you is so awesome."

Napalm-in-the-Morning Dept. (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#47505411)

Pink-slips are so pretty waving in the bright sun!

Law Suits To Go ? (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47505149)

I think Microsoft is setting up a situation that the courts will find repugnant. Restraining future employment seems to be at play here.

How's That Free Market Working For Ya? (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 5 months ago | (#47505207)

An unregulated business practice designed to funnel jobs and monies overseas? Say it ain't so, George, say it ain't so!

The Real Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505245)

Will Microsoft Corp. refer RIF'ers to the US Justice Department and DHS as suspect Terrorists !

They already did ! And for a sweet load of pennies; thousands of Trillions of pennies.

Nice pay day Microsoft.

Ah, the sweet smell of turnover. (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 5 months ago | (#47505253)

1. Hire contractor.
2. 6 months to train them up.
3. 6 months of actual work from them.
4. 6 months using them to train their replacement.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Given the sheer amount of time it takes to get someone effective in a large bureaucratic organization, it is *mind-boggling* that critical staff positions end up being held by contractors who have to do the contractor dance. Most companies have tricks they use to avoid the contractor dance (reclassifying something as an SOW, rather than hourly position, for example), but that's just another dodge to avoid actually hiring someone and giving them employee protections.

Most large projects take *years* to get to fruition - if you're going to use contractors for anything other than dumb, grunty labor that takes a tech only a week to get up to speed in, you're abusing people and destroying value.

This is actually pretty nice. (1)

Sowelu (713889) | about 5 months ago | (#47505417)

As a former paid Microsoft shill (okay, contractor on like four different projects), I would wholeheartedly welcome this if I ever went back. Which I won't, but still.

One year was too little time. It takes months to ramp up; now you get a lot more productive time.

And 90 days of downtime between jobs was awkward--it's hard to set up a 3 month contract that fit perfectly in those dates. Realistically, you'd find another 6-month job in the meantime, and not go back to Microsoft until well after the mandatory break, even if MS was the best job you could get at the time.

So yeah. This is better for employees' stability, and for managers getting more productive time out of contractors.

How's that supposed to work anyway? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 months ago | (#47505441)

I mean, if they were laid off, then that tends to mean that they *can't* be hired back on... at least not immediately. My understanding is that "laid off" means that the person is being let go because there isn't enough work to justify paying them, so how could they even *think* of hiring back anyone?

leaks,schmeaks.. this is about co-employment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47505467)

MS has had problems with perma-temps before: class action suits, Dept of Labor troubles, IRS troubles.

This isn't all that unusual: most companies have a "can't work as a contractor for us for more than 18-24 mo" with a blackout period

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