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posted by cmn32480 on Monday March 12 2018, @09:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the violating-federal-law dept.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

A San Francisco technology company laid off a group of software engineers as they were trying to join a labor union, according to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

The Communications Workers of America [CWA] claims Lanetix, which makes cloud-based software for transportation and logistics companies, violated federal labor laws by cutting 14 software engineers in January in San Francisco and Arlington, Va.

Most of the engineers were fired [January 26], about 10 days after they filed a petition seeking union representation, according to the complaint filed by the CWA's Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. A hearing to determine a date to hold the union vote was scheduled for [February 1].

[...] While unions have made inroads in representing Silicon Valley bus drivers, security officers, food service workers, and custodians, the Lanetix case could break new ground because union activity is still unusual for software engineers, who are generally highly paid and in short supply, labor lawyers said.

[...] there are [reasons other than gripes about pay, whereby] unions can attract higher-paid tech workers, including "if you feel mistreated by the company or if you feel there's favoritism going on or lack of job security", said labor law attorney Steve Hirschfeld, founding partner of Hirschfeld Kraemer of San Francisco.

"There's a myth that if you're a highly paid employee, you either can't join a union or wouldn't be interested", Hirschfeld said.

The Lanetix case is "significant because it is a tech company and they're well-paid engineers", he said. "That's still a rarity today for that group of employees to be organized. (But) the feeling among many tech workers is that they're viewed as being expendable."

[...] The Lanetix engineers signed union cards to join the CWA's Washington-Baltimore News Guild. (The Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents some San Francisco Chronicle employees, is also affiliated with the CWA.) According to the complaint filed with the board, the union said Lanetix began "threatening and coercing employees" for engaging in union activities starting in November. The complaint said one engineer was fired for participating in group discussions on Slack, an internal messaging service.

The union filed a petition with the board on Jan. 16 to represent the workers. The company terminated "all engineers and senior engineers in retaliation for demanding recognition", the complaint said.

The engineers were called into a meeting and told of layoffs due to the company's lackluster fourth quarter performance, CWA organizer Melinda Fiedler told Bloomberg Law.

"By the time they left that meeting, their computers were gone", Fiedler said.

Cet Parks, executive director of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, said the workers were told the company was moving engineering offices to Europe.

Previous: The CPU [Computer Professional Union]
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  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday March 12 2018, @05:06PM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday March 12 2018, @05:06PM (#651426) Journal

    I've NEVER gotten that: why pay big names to voice your game or animated movie?

    I really don't give a damn if Sir John Gielgud is the voice of Naruto, or Fonzie voices Maddox in Supreme Commander (running on wine, spank you).

    Why should anyone give a shit: if the game sucks, I don't care who does the voices, and if it's good I don't care who does the voices!

    Do kids care if Ray Romano is doing the voice of a mastodon?

    I say get a no name with an odd voice if you want an odd voice and save the fecking cash and pass on the savings!

    Ridiculous nonsense.

    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @08:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @08:05PM (#651496)

    get a no name with an odd voice

    I was just listening to The Frazer Smith Show last night.
    He's been a radio personality (on and off) and a standup comic since the 1970s.
    He has big shot Hollywood agent Barry Katz on every week.
    Barry repeatedly notes that the folks who succeed are the ones who keep plugging away at it.

    Fraz also has successful performers on who tell about all the wannabes who come up to them and ask how to make it in show biz.
    Every one of them has the same response: There are no shortcuts; get out there and WORK.

    So, after a bunch of years demonstrating that you will show up on time, hit your marks, and know your lines, you get a reputation as a reliable talent.
    THAT is why they don't hire just anybody:
    By the time the successes are successes, all the unreliable flakes have been weeded out out of the lot.

    -- OriginalOwner_ []

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @12:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @12:18AM (#651593)

    Not entirely. Christopher Lee as Lucan Delere in Everquest 2 was really good. People made evil characters just so they could speak to The Overlord of Freeport.