Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple, Google Agree To Settle Lawsuit Alleging Hiring Conspiracy

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the have-some-money dept.

Businesses 108

An anonymous reader writes "A group of tech companies including Google and Apple have agreed to settle an antitrust lawsuit over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. From the article: 'Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. Trial had been scheduled to begin at the end of May on behalf of roughly 64,000 workers in the class.'"

cancel ×

108 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Friendly Advice from HR! (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46837447)

Just, um, incidentally, all those checks are uniquely serialized and anyone who cashes one really isn't showing themselves to be a team player or a good fit with company culture, now are they?

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (4, Funny)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46837517)

job application question #12: Have you ever sued your employer?

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46837789)

Maybe this just reflects a cultural distaste for lawyers; but "Yeah, I shot a guy once, in self defense" might actually play better than "Yeah, I sued an employer once, in self defense", even if both statements are equally true.

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46837953)

"I shot an employer." "In self defense" "Yeah, that's what I made it look like"

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838035)

Mister Zimmerman, was the employer holding a bag of skittles at the time?

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (2, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#46838505)

I could be wrong, I am not in HR and insanity is rampant, but I am at least hoping that is one of the questions they do not even read the answer to.

The entire point is presumably simply to give you an opportunity to lie on the record. If you have sued an employer in the past, being human and thus stupid, you are likely to lie on your application to get your job. On the other hand they are extremely unlikely to spend the money for anything like a serious investigation of your answers before hiring you.

But if you somehow become a pain later, and you lied on your application, they can insta-terminate you at any time by simply "discovering" that fact. Even if you are in a jurisdiction where they have to have cause. And if you are not in such a jurisdiction, having cause is still gravy. So it's later, if at all, that they might actually pay some attention to your answer and consider paying for an investigation to determine its veracity.

On the other hand, if you have sued an employer in the past *and admit it* then there is a very good chance you're substantially more honest and loyal than half the workforce and have a really really good story about how exactly you were forced into that situation against your will. Which HR would love to read one day if they are ever caught up on paperwork and bored with facebook, but for purposes of the interview they might well just skim through it as unimportant without even properly reading it.

Like I said, I could be wrong. Would love to hear replies from HR folks, anonymously is fine, agree or disagree is fine too as long as you tell us *why.*

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838869)

just fyi, the font you are using is much harder to read than the standard font

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838915)

No, It's his way of being an attention whore, posting in a different font so more people will notice it.

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46839179)

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 6 months ago | (#46840705)

The entire point is presumably simply to give you an opportunity to lie on the record. If you have sued an employer in the past, being human and thus stupid, you are likely to lie on your application to get your job.

(Annoying font sanitised.)

Where is anyone suggesting that employers will be allowed to ask if you've sued former employers? (If this was in either of the articles, I missed it.)

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46843589)

Friends don't let friends enable ecmascript.

Maybe you should find some friends who prevent you from posting in courier font?

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838309)

Response: Thank you for providing me with the legal basis to sue your company

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838645)

job application question #12: Have you ever sued your employer?

"No"

A more accurate question would be "Have you ever participated in a lawsuit against your employer?"

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (1)

CBravo (35450) | about 6 months ago | (#46838903)

Just counter that with: "Well, employers are just like other people. And I happened to to be employed by a bad example who tried to f*** me over. I presume you are more reliable?"

Re:Friendly Advice from HR! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837959)

Just, um, incidentally, all those checks are uniquely serialized and anyone who cashes one really isn't showing themselves to be a team player or a good fit with company culture, now are they?

I only cashed the check because to object to the class action settlement could expose my prior employer to the legal discovery process. I was taking one for the team!

Misleading headline (5, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46837453)

It should read: "Google and Apple agree to settle after seeing mountain of evidence against them."

Likewise their statements will read something like: "We have agreed to settle this lawsuit in the hopes that it will bring closure to this situation and while we did nothing wrong we will amend our policies to treat all workers fairly. That is until we get caught again."

Re:Misleading headline (4, Insightful)

kerrbear (163235) | about 6 months ago | (#46837511)

Really burns me up when companies cry "Free Market! Free Market!" then conspire to make the market less free. Hey Apple, how about if all the manufacturing companies conspire to keep their prices the same so you can't make any deals. Oh, but that would make you angry wouldn't it.

Re:Misleading headline (5, Insightful)

StillAnonymous (595680) | about 6 months ago | (#46837561)

They pull this hypocritical card all the time. If prices on something are high, they just dismiss with "supply and demand, econ 101, deal with it, blah blah". Then they go and purchase laws that prevent competition, and other laws to prevent you from importing the product from overseas for a cheaper price.

On the other hand, when there's a low supply of skilled of workers (or even if there isn't), rather than raising salaries to attract the talent, they again purchase laws that allow to bring overseas employees into the picture and screw over the local workers once again.

shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838047)

The bigger outrage of all this, is how these companies get off with slap on the wrist fines, or a slap on the hand with a "now don't you do this again" from government. The EU seems to be inept at doing anything, maybe taking lessons from their US leaders.

Goes without saying, if the little guy/small business did this they would be cutting plea deals and either be imprison, or into bankruptcy. And these big tech companies aren't paying taxes either but they can pretty much buy off rules and regulations.

Invisible hand (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46839101)

This is the invisible hand truly at work once again !
The free market is one-armed: it is missing the hand that gives.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46837967)

The cartel door swings both ways. Too bad it always hits us, consumer or employee, in the face.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

jafac (1449) | about 6 months ago | (#46843203)

This is what unions are for.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 6 months ago | (#46842565)

It actually is totally fine in a free market for a group of companies to conspire to set prices. Such arrangements are inherently unstable as each side has the incentive to cheat, plus competition from other companies will ultimately end the arrangement. So far, so good - still a free market. The issue only comes in cases like sibling's post, when they actually purchase laws that prevent competition or to sanction their agreements. Plus, yes, if Apple filed an antitrust suit against manufacturing companies in order to drive their prices down, that would also be anti-free-market, because anti-trust-suits are anti-free-market, since they involve the law and the use of force regulating what businesses can or can't do.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Branciforte (2437662) | about 6 months ago | (#46845979)

The market was still free. Everyone was free to seek a better job at a competing company. Nothing was stopping them. A few companies decided not to COLD CALL each others employees. People at Apple were free to go interview at Google, and people at Google were free to go interview at Apple. Everyone was completely free to negotiate whatever price the market would bear.

It comes down to this: There was a small group of people who were willing to ditch their current company for a pay raise, and now they have the gall to complain that they have to actually call the other company. Boo fucking hoo.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46837993)

two things fucked up. a) there should be no settling.
b). SECRET TERMS AND FUCKING 64 000 PEOPLE REPRESENTED!

what the fuck? furthermore, isn't such action actually criminally-criminal in USA or is this just 100% civil case?

Re:Misleading headline (1)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#46838039)

So what you're saying is they secretly reached a secret agreement to keep secret the terms of the not-quite-secret agreements.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46841299)

Labor laws in this country aren't what they used to be. Since this did occur in California I'm sure that there will be criminal prosecution of some sort on this however don't let that fool you into thinking that somebody will be held accountable for this. Use the recent bank mortgage fiasco as an example where large banks essentially settled with many states en-mass to avoid jail time for the execs. Of course those settlements aren't secret however it still allows a company to settle without admitting to any criminal wrongdoing or whatever the settlement comes out to be. I'll cite the recent Toyota case with the DOJ [cnbc.com] where Holder got up on a podium and lambasted Toyota over their egregious actions but nobody will go to jail and the Feds will pocket the cash.

Re:Misleading headline (5, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 6 months ago | (#46838149)

My question is: where the HELL is the Labor Department and the Commerce Department on all this? The small company I work at went through a month of poking, prodding, audits, etc. by the Dept. of Labor looking for overtime violations or miscategorizing employees as salary vs. hourly, and all they found was $2000 over 3 years, and even that was questionable.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 6 months ago | (#46838557)

My question is: where the HELL is the Labor Department and the Commerce Department on all this? The small company I work at went through a month of poking, prodding, audits, etc. by the Dept. of Labor looking for overtime violations or miscategorizing employees as salary vs. hourly, and all they found was $2000 over 3 years, and even that was questionable.

Questionable, but manageable. Can you imagine how long it'd take them to do a similar audit on a company the size of Google?!?! Some guy got to do your company over, get paid that whole time, and come way with something possitive (could have went the other way)... so it's a win/win for him/labor-commerce, and $2000 doesn't even hurt your company much. It's not right, but it makes sense.

Re:Misleading headline (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 6 months ago | (#46840909)

My question is: where the HELL is the Labor Department and the Commerce Department on all this?

Probably in Hawaii at a Google or Apple sponsored "conference".

Re:Misleading headline (1)

rhizome (115711) | about 6 months ago | (#46838573)

If you're seething about a low settlement, blame the law firm representing the class, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, who have a history of engineering small settlements for huge cases.

It's kayfabe, LCHB is a shill acting in the defendant's interest.

Oyvey already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46839407)

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

A guy I know used to work for a deli, he used to deliver sandwiches to their office.

Never any ham, apparently.

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838929)

Yeah - this runs counter to the scene of gotta-catch-em-all at Echostar / Dish. I recall we were stealing people from Hughes / DirecTV and Liberty Media (formerly TCI) and others in the area for uplink and programming service support (and so were they). It wasn't so much an agreement to steal but business as usual to shanghai everyone we could because tech workers were in short supply in the Denver area, let alone those with uplink and broadband knowledge (which is why I got stock - not stock options as part of my retainer at the one I worked for).

All of them had uplink offices in a single area (south Denver, although primary transmission was in Cheyenne Wyoming in direct line with Denver), so it was truly the wild west. Why? Because if you shoot a signal from Denver (in industry parlance 'squirt the bird'), you can target from the west coast to the east in one shot (and some of Alaska).

No fault? (3, Insightful)

donaggie03 (769758) | about 6 months ago | (#46837473)

Let me guess: the settlement specifically states that they admit to no fault right?

Re:No fault? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837555)

And all the employees who were affected get credits on Apple App store and Google's Play store.

Re:No fault? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#46837813)

I'd rather have a free pizza.

Re:No fault? (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 6 months ago | (#46837891)

I'd rather have a free pizza.

Sorry, free pizza is only provided to towns as compensation after a well explodes. http://www.salon.com/2014/02/1... [salon.com]

Re:No fault? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837817)

As part of the settlement with the FTC, a contribution of $2.5 million will be made to President Obama's Organizing for Action committee.

Re:No fault? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838317)

these fellows should be charged with collusion. its nothing less. their both in the cell phone and peripheral devices markets, their both agreeing to terms which will effect consumer prices.

no fucking way a company of this size should EVER be able to settle with undisclosed terms.

fuck you ungle sam. you're sleeping on the job

terms not disclosed (4, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 6 months ago | (#46837485)

Is it possible to keep secret a deal with 64000 persons? That should leak.

Re:terms not disclosed (5, Informative)

etphonehome8706 (1228606) | about 6 months ago | (#46837617)

Per the lawyers for the plaintiffs [lieffcabraser.com] , the terms of the settlement will become public when the paperwork is filed with the court next month.

Re:terms not disclosed (1)

jmd (14060) | about 6 months ago | (#46837637)

anything OVER 9000 is probably out of control :)

Re:terms not disclosed (2)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 6 months ago | (#46837899)

anything OVER 9000 is probably out of control :)

"Three people can keep a secret, if two of them are dead." - Benjamin Franklin

That's why he always killed the two French whores after a threesome.

Re:terms not disclosed (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about 6 months ago | (#46838787)

He didn't kill them, it was old age [swarthmore.edu] .

Re:terms not disclosed (2)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about 6 months ago | (#46837853)

Wall street journal [wsj.com] is saying that the deal is worth about $325 millio, which is about a tenth of what the lawsuit was aiming for. Assuming the lawyers take a 25% cut, each individual in the class of 64000 should get about $2500.

Re: terms not disclosed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838249)

why assume 25% for the lawyers? my mother was involved in an estate suit, lawyer's terms for taking the case on contingency was 70%. other lawyers that were consulted asked for upwards of 80%. was worth it in this case, but point is lawyers may well be getting north of 100 million if it's really 300ish.

Re:terms not disclosed (3, Interesting)

rhizome (115711) | about 6 months ago | (#46838615)

I'd say that's a max. Class representatives Lieff Cabraser thankfully has a history of this kind of defendant-friendly incompetence. Note their role in the settlement in the California Hospital Price Gouging [wikipedia.org] case, where the class received about $1,000 apiece in what should have also involved criminal charges.

Do the math: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieff_Cabraser_Heimann_%26_Bernstein#Prominent_Cases [wikipedia.org]

Re:terms not disclosed (2)

Archimonde (668883) | about 6 months ago | (#46838665)

Or maybe they'll get an apple store gift card so they can go and buy a nice shiny macbook?;))

Re:terms not disclosed (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#46838137)

well it is, if you don't tell the terms to the 64 000 persons or don't let the 64 000 persons know what they agreed to.

fucked up, eh?

Settled. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837495)

We admit no wrongdoing and promise not to get caught again.
The lawers took most of the cash.
The rest of you got coupons for apple and google products.
And you can never ever tell anyone you were involved in this at all.

Yay justice!

Re:Settled. (5, Interesting)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46837571)

One type of tort reform I would really like to see is parity in rewards between attorneys and the class in class action suits.

1. Parity in time. Lawyers don't get paid til the class gets paid. If it's a medical case and the payout is a trust to pay off medical claims over decades, then the lawyers get paid fractionally as those medical claims are paid. If the lawyers want their money right now they are free to securitize that revenue stream and sell it, probably for 65 cents on the dollar.

2. Parity in kind. If the class receives coupons, services, or goods then the lawyers receive their payment in the same coupons, services or goods. If the lawyers would prefer cash they had better settle for cash; otherwise they can sell their coupons on Ebay for pennies on the dollar.

3. Parity in proportion: The class receives a minimum of 50% of the settlement. Distribution costs don't count toward that 50%.

Re:Settled. (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46837987)

The point of a class action suit is to punish the transgressor. No one victim is harmed enough for the suit to be worthwhile, but society still has an interest in dissuading future bad behavior. The suits are often long and complicated. If you don't pay the lawyers well, then you won't get good lawyers working for the class. Meanwhile, the corporation WILL have good lawyers.

Insistence that lawyers should make less money from class actions may be well-intentioned, but the result would just be corporations having (even more) freedom to fuck people over.

Re:Settled. (4, Insightful)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46838237)

The problem is the scale of the incentive for the lawyers becomes meaningless if those lawyers are allowed to pursue their own interests above those of the class they supposedly represent. Compare that to the corporations' lawyers - how well are they rewarded for fucking over their clients? The class's lawyers also don't necessarily perform a service to the public, since settlements usually keep the discovered details of the transgression secret. To prevent that problem the interests of the lawyers should be kept tied so close to those of the class that you can't cut the class without the lawyers needing stitches. Hence rules of parity. I'm all for class action attorneys getting paid a whopping big portion of the payouts, but it should reflect what they have done for the class, not what they have done for themselves. Those are just the suggestions I've come up with - do you have better ones?

Also: often members of the class were injured enough for individual suits to have already been filed; those suits are then combined into a class action suit. The suits that result in nothing but coupons for the class rarely serve any meaningful purpose: the class (except for the lead plaintiffs) receives no meaningful benefits; the transgressors don't pay out enough for it to serve as inducement for better behavior, don't admit to anything, and aren't forced to reveal the evidence showing what they actually did. If as a result of my suggestions fewer lawyers are willing to pursue class actions like those the loss would be outweighed by the gains. The more merit the class action has, the less of a burden the rules would be to the attorneys.

Re:Settled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838727)

how am i gonna continue to get my late night tv for free if we
bring reason to class action?

Re:Settled. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#46839503)

Then don't bother with financial penalties, but make the individuals involved run the gauntlet [wikipedia.org]
âZ
With 32,000 on either side they'd take quite a hammering. Shame shame!

Re:Settled. (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46841735)

Actually, it turns out coupon settlements were rained in a bit: Wiki:

"the portion of any attorney’s fee award to class counsel that is attributable to the award of the coupons shall be based on the value to class members of the coupons that are redeemed." 28 U.S.C.A. 1712(a).

That addresses the problem that perhaps 10% of the issued coupons are redeemed, but leaves out the problem that the cash value of the coupons might still be much less than the face value, even amongst members of the class that bothered to redeem them. If the same $10 dollar coupon could be bought on ebay for $1, that's the cash value of that coupon.

.

Re:Settled. (4, Insightful)

nodwick (716348) | about 6 months ago | (#46838031)

While your suggestions would certainly help align the incentives of the class action lawyers with those of the plaintiffs, they largely don't apply in this case. The Lucasfilm and Pixar settlements (which the latest settlement is considered likely to structured in a similar way to) was in cash and saw 45% of the settlement go to lawyers and legal fees, so your conditions above are met. However, many people are finding it strange that the legal team would have settled this case instead of fighting it out, given how much evidence was available. A New York Times article [nytimes.com] details the dollar amounts:

Four of the largest technology companies tentatively settled on Thursday a class action brought by 64,000 of their engineers, who accused them of agreeing not to solicit one another’s employees. The amount of the settlement was not released, but people with knowledge of the deal said it was in the neighborhood of $300 million.

[...]

As a result of all these machinations, the suit claimed, the mobility and income of the engineers suffered. A guilty verdict in a trial might have meant the defendants would have had to pay triple damages of as much as $9 billion.

The settlement resulted in an average payout (after fees) of ~$2300 per engineer, while fighting out the case and winning would have netted closer to $77k per engineer after fees. The engineers would have had to have just a 3% chance of winning the suit for it to be worthwhile to proceed with the case, and their odds of winning would almost certainly have been substantially higher. However, for the law firm, fighting out the case would have consumed many more billable hours than settling, so their payout (per billable hour) would not have been nearly as high if they won, and they faced a huge loss in terms of unpaid hours spent if the case was litigated and lost. That the lawyers decided to settle rather than continue to pursue the suit is a rational decision for them, but much less so for the plaintiffs they represented.

Re: Settled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838261)

but lawyers can't just decide to settle against the wishes of their clients... it's disingenuous to imply otherwise.

Re: Settled. (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46841977)

They can and do, so long as the judge lets them. Usually they don't have to get a consensus from the whole class, they just have to get approval from the judge and the lead plaintiffs (representatives of the class). Members that object can opt out of the settlement. Since the lead plaintiffs are paid a LOT more than other members of the class, their interests are different, especially if the entire class action was the idea of the lawyers and they recruited the lead plaintiffs and asked them to start a lawsuit, as opposed to the other way around.

Re:Settled. (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 6 months ago | (#46838263)

I don't know if a rule could do more good than harm in that type of situation.

Re:Settled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46843029)

Really Apple and Google and others should distribute a good chunk of their cash hoards to every IT worker in the U.S., since we were all affected by these illegal activities. If you are in the class, do not accept the settlement. The groundswell is coming..

Who would the Nazis do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837507)

What are the Nazis do?

Google would never hire me... (3, Funny)

MindPrison (864299) | about 6 months ago | (#46837623)

...if they knew my search history.

Oh wait...

class size, from TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837627)

TFA says:

roughly 64,000 workers in the class

If the universe has any sense of humor, it'll turn out to be exactly 65536 workers in the class.

Re:class size, from TFA (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 6 months ago | (#46838231)

65535

Re:class size, from TFA (3)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 6 months ago | (#46838307)

What? Do you have something against Employee Number Zero?

0 - 65535 = 65536 numbers...

On the subject of collusion (5, Insightful)

jmd (14060) | about 6 months ago | (#46837661)

If ten people can sit around a table and decide what to pay me, I should be able to have 10 people sit around a table and decide what I will work for.

You know corporations rig the game. Do you still see unions in a bad light now?

Re:On the subject of collusion (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46837765)

If ten people can sit around a table and decide what to pay me, I should be able to have 10 people sit around a table and decide what I will work for.

You know corporations rig the game. Do you still see unions in a bad light now?

I'm not sure. I live in Detroit and they look pretty bad when the when the power company turns the lights on, but luckily that's pretty rare.

Re:On the subject of collusion (4, Interesting)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 6 months ago | (#46838311)

Then why do professional athletes, physicians, pharmacists, lawyers, etc have unions or occupation specific associations. It seems that IT workers think they are too smart to join a union or they are so super concerned that 1 person might freeload off their contract, so they are ready to spite their face to save their nose.

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

E-Rock (84950) | about 6 months ago | (#46838445)

Are the professional associations to protect them from their employers or to exclude competitors?

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 6 months ago | (#46842179)

Is that a rhetorical [wikipedia.org] question? [wikipedia.org]

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 6 months ago | (#46842011)

It seems that IT workers think they are too smart to join a union or they are so super concerned that 1 person might freeload off their contract, so they are ready to spite their face to save their nose.

The current state of unions is, IMO, worse than the two party system in America.
The basic idea of a union is excelent - but that basic implementation is now illegal. You can't simple band together workers and strike. You must have a propper union, and that's where it all goes downhill. Now part of your pay has to go to dues, and you're required to do so. Why? The people holding the purse have it in their best interests to keep their employment, union position, and keep dues coming in (which means keep your lot working). It's like a really broken HR department.

I don't think many people are worried about freeloaders. I think they are, and should be, worried about even more people sitting in management like positions doing nothing but gleening away money that should go to the pockets of the employees; about more red tape; about the restrictions that would limit their mobility in the workforce and between companies; etc.

Most in IT are also doing alright (desk job with decent pay), and many are young and happy to be making more than most of their peers. Where's the motivation to unionize? What will it bring that isn't easily found already?

Re:On the subject of collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46837795)

You know corporations rig the game. Do you still see unions in a bad light now?

at one point unions made sense the labor laws were woefully inadequate and workers were regularly exploited.

However, since the 1970's labor laws have come a long way and are vastly superior to the protection offered by a union, answer this who protected these people from the corporations? their union? or the labor laws and court system?

Unions often have to make the same decisions management does "which jobs do we fight to keep and who do we get rid of" I've personally worked in a workers union who went on strike, the contract the union was fighting for specifically allowed them to outsource my job? why would i support the union, because in the head of the unions eyes i'm not valuable enough to protect.

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 6 months ago | (#46841999)

at one point unions made sense the labor laws were woefully inadequate and workers were regularly exploited.

However, since the 1970's labor laws

Did corporate greed disappear in the 1970's? No? Then why would workers no longer need unions to protect them exploitation? This "unions were useful in the past but not now" talking point requires willful ignorance since.....at least 1980.

Re:On the subject of collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838009)

...You know corporations rig the game. Do you still see unions in a bad light now?

Yes, unions still suck. Big time, same as aways.

At one time I worked in a non-union sawmill. There was a union sawmill across the creek from where I worked. *Our* sawmill would have a lot of fires and also metal hidden in the logs if we kept working when *their* sawmill was on strike. Fuck unions for making my working conditions dangerous.

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

moof1138 (215921) | about 6 months ago | (#46840463)

"Fuck unions for making my working conditions dangerous."

Oh, the irony.

Re:On the subject of collusion (2)

alvinrod (889928) | about 6 months ago | (#46838175)

Unions aren't inherently good or bad. They can accomplish both good in ensuring that workers receive fair wages and that companies provide a safe work environment, but they are just as capable of protecting incompetent workers and demanding their members out of their jobs.

Personally I believe that unions should neither be forbidden or required. However, like too many other things it seems that the people who feel strongly about such things want an all or nothing approach in one direction or the other.

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 6 months ago | (#46841743)

but they are just as capable of protecting incompetent workers and demanding their members out of their job

Except that's the sort of tired anti-union claptrap the parent might have been referring to. Incompetence: how many workers do you know who are happy to do someone else's work in addition to their own? Out of their jobs: on some planet where unions accepting cuts to preserve jobs isn't a constant story in this country? Where cuts to public sector unions aren't being made to pay for the tax cuts for the rich passed a couple years ago?

Workers will be a lot better off when they cast aside anti-worker propaganda.

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838457)

As someone who recently worked in a union IT shop, the union did fuck all when I was laid off. They made up reasons to terminate me, blaming me for project failures that I didn't even work on. Union rep just sat there and said nothing the entire time. Know why? They work for the same people and no one rocks the boat in a at-will state. What about the contract you say? We didn't have one as management delayed contract negotiations again and again.

Re:On the subject of collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46840663)

"You know corporations rig the game. Do you still see unions in a bad light now?"

Yes. We should be able to have a class action suit against unions for pulling the same bullshit.

The artificial limiting of opportunity in order to drive up or preserve peoples income should never and can never be tolerated.

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 6 months ago | (#46841901)

The artificial limiting of opportunity in order to drive up or preserve peoples income should never and can never be tolerated.

So how long have you hated democracy? And why do you fascists think that is normal for the corporate class to organize their capital (money) but abhorrent for workers to pool their capital (labor)?

Re:On the subject of collusion (1)

Branciforte (2437662) | about 6 months ago | (#46846021)

Only, that's not what happened. No one said anything about fixing salaries. They just agreed to not go out of their way to steal employees from each other. Nothing stopped you from going to one of the ten to get whatever price the market would bear.

And you are free to have ten people sit around a table and decide what price you are willing to work for.

The story behind the smiley... (4, Interesting)

marciot (598356) | about 6 months ago | (#46837735)

"In one email exchange after a Google recruiter solicited an Apple employee, Schmidt told Jobs that the recruiter would be fired, court documents show. Jobs then forwarded Schmidt's note to a top Apple human resources executive with a smiley face."

The story behind the smiley face is that Steve Jobs now knew exactly what disgruntled ex-recruiter he could hire to solicit Google employees on behalf of Apple.

Re:The story behind the smiley... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838027)

"In one email exchange after a Google recruiter solicited an Apple employee, Schmidt told Jobs that the recruiter would be fired, court documents show. Jobs then forwarded Schmidt's note to a top Apple human resources executive with a smiley face."

The story behind the smiley face is that Steve Jobs now knew exactly what disgruntled ex-recruiter he could hire to solicit Google employees on behalf of Apple.

[klassens.com]
[klassens.com]

[klassens.com]

[klassens.com]

[klassens.com]

[klassens.com]

[url=http://www.klassens.info/] [/url]

- - [klassens.info]

Did anyone opt out? (1)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#46837889)

Did anyone opt out of the class action? If so, they can still sue.

Re:Did anyone opt out? (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 6 months ago | (#46838189)

If they were a former employee, sure, but I can't imagine anyone currently working at either company who would be willing to throw their job away. They obviously won't be fired over the lawsuit, but in a few months some HR drone will have started to find some performance or behavior problems that will eventually lead to their termination.

When is HP going to have to pay up? (4, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 6 months ago | (#46837983)

I worked at HP in the early 90s and they used to announce to us that their HR people had sat down with HR people from many other large engineering employers (including Intel, Cisco, etc.) in the Bay Area and throughout the US to define job descriptions and pay and benefits packages. I thought it was bullshit, but most of fellow employees didn't think much of it because the next part of the announcement was the 3% annual pay raise everyone was going to get.

If there are any lawyers out there looking to prepare a similar suit, let me know!

Re:When is HP going to have to pay up? (1)

jafac (1449) | about 6 months ago | (#46843355)

Yes; they absolutely ARE in lockstep on this.

Break every one of them up (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 6 months ago | (#46837985)

The only answer to antitrust is simple - break those companies apart and KEEP THEM APART.

No settlement should be allowed.

Taiwan Geeks (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 6 months ago | (#46838015)

"Let's both admit that in all our lawsuits, neither of us had done anything other than license Taipei rights to a third party" I have been following Digitimes for years, this is not about "rounded corners", it's about Taiwanese touchscreen tech.

For how much they have settled? (1)

postmortem (906676) | about 6 months ago | (#46838097)

64K tech people have jobs, so they are not as desperate as Apple and Google are to not get their dirty laundry out. And since both companies have more cash than US gov't, obviously this was never going to trial.

Interestingly, Apple posted quarterly financials today ... so how much this has cost them we won't know for 90 days... and even then it will probably be well hidden.

Why isn't anyone in jail? (4, Insightful)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 6 months ago | (#46838269)

I know it is getting comical to ask, but shouldn't the CEO's that are still alive face jail time? Same for the heads of HR that went along with this crap?

Re:Why isn't anyone in jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46839139)

No, the feds already settled. This is a civil suit. Difference.

Re:Why isn't anyone in jail? (4, Informative)

Raenex (947668) | about 6 months ago | (#46840683)

No, the feds already settled. This is a civil suit. Difference.

The question is why the feds settled with nobody in jail. The answer, of course, is that there are different rules for CEOs of big American companies.

The Lawyers get 40 percent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838511)

You can apply for your rightful portion of the settlement, which works out to be 17 dollars and 35 cents. That's if you want your name, address, and contact information socked away in a database indexed and publicly searchable until human civilization ends.

Contractors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46838697)

Wonder if this covers contractors too. We were asked to tell Intel management if anyone ever called us on the intel lines.

Actually 65535 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46839691)

The exact number was 65535 because they were using an old version of Excel and could only store that many rows

I'm amazed it was that many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46840807)

Poaching happens all the time and has been happening - I'm amazed that there are that many people who weren't poached. I've worked for two of the companies involved and was poached from one when I went to the other and they paid damn well for me. If truth be told, the number of people who ~were~ poached from competitors (and are right now) probably dwarfs 64000. And that is a Good Thing.

Non-poaching agreements are nothing more than ways to get your competitors to trust you in order for you to fuck them that much harder. Anyone who actually sticks to them is a goddamned idiot. You get them to think youre not poaching from them, then you poach like hell.

With non-poaching agreements, you lose far more in future income from new talent than you gain in the short term. Why pay someone to reinvent the wheel when you can just hire the guy who built it somewhere else?

I also would have told Jobs..."Oh sure, we wont poach from you guys" and then I would have proceeded to poach the fuck out of the arrogant prick. Its not like anyone who had to deal with the motherfucker needed much incentive to fuck him - he wanted to be able to treat people how he wanted without having to worry about paying for it by them leaving.

We are all affected. (1)

mrhippo3 (2747859) | about 6 months ago | (#46841483)

The "class" is a bit bigger than the direct set of 64,000 affected. For most jobs, "reasonable and customary" was taken as the California wage which was then discounted for the folks NOT working in California. Working on the east coast, you would of course receive less than the folks in Silly Valley. And because your starting salary was artificially depressed, then you would of course receive a substantially lower sum over the span of your career. The one time I was given an actual raise of more than a few percent, I was moved out of my "salary band" and received no further raises. And folks wonder why efforts to promote STEM may fizzle out.

No Deterrence (2)

byteherder (722785) | about 6 months ago | (#46844285)

If I was a CEO of a Tech company, I would be calling up all the other CEOs and saying, "Let's do this again". Why? $2.7 billion reason why.

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe conspired to hold down salaries of their employees, saving their respective companies $3 billion. When they got caught, they paid a $300million settlement and walked away. Net saving $2.7 billion. No admission of guilt, no one goes to jail, no one gets fired.

There is no deterrence for them to not do it again. No penalty, just a slap on the wrist. The penalty has to be at least the damage down in real terms. When you conspire to do something illegal and they only penalty is that you make $2.7 more in profit, you will never, never stop this behavior.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?