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(Slate)   The tech giants that constantly biatch about a shortage of talent have been colluding to keep wages from rising to a level which might attract new talent   (slate.com) divider line 168
    More: Obvious, workers, Google, shortages, wages  
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2194 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Apr 2014 at 9:32 AM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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vpb [TotalFark]
2014-04-25 09:15:21 AM
It's like they have never heard of supply and demand.
 
2014-04-25 09:39:52 AM
They had no problem attracting new talent (lots of people like being paid 100k+ a year).  The "problem" (as George Lucas saw it) is that they wanted to stop the poaching of talent between each other which they feared (correctly) would increase salaries and disruptions within their organizations.

What's really stupid is that so many people decided to go along with it .... really shows you how unethical HR people can be.

/free market is a biatch
 
2014-04-25 09:43:07 AM
"We think it's an excellent result and we look forward to presenting it," Kelly Dermody, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.

For you, maybe.

This needed to go to court, this needed to get blown up in media and there needed to be some public awareness around this. This is not limited to tech, this is the entire goddamn country. Instead this gets swept under the rug after a mention in the New York Times and a few blogs and life goes back to the usual quid pro quo arrangements.
 
2014-04-25 09:51:34 AM
Paying workers market wages? Sounds like Communism to me.
 
2014-04-25 09:51:57 AM
Agreed.  This should have gone to court and everybody who was affected should be livid at this decision to settle out-of-court where each party can deny wrongdoing.

Sounds like Ms Dermody and her colleagues were lazy and decided that this would take months or years to play out in court so they took the easy money and ran.
 
hej
2014-04-25 09:57:19 AM
As a Fark Armchair Lawyer, the main problem I see with this lawsuit is that while these companies agreed not to poach employees from eachother, they didn't (as far as we know) conspire and all agree to pay a given salary for a given job/level of experience.  There's nothing to stop them from one upping each other when it comes to hiring the "new talent."
 
hej
2014-04-25 10:00:14 AM

hej: As a Fark Armchair Lawyer, the main problem I see with this lawsuit is that while these companies agreed not to poach employees from eachother, they didn't (as far as we know) conspire and all agree to pay a given salary for a given job/level of experience.  There's nothing to stop them from one upping each other when it comes to hiring the "new talent."


Also, so far as I know, this agreement between the companies only goes so far as to stop them from soliciting their employees.  Nothing to stop an employee from approaching a the other companies.
 
2014-04-25 10:03:32 AM
I recently found out that I make more than some of the senior-level people in my department.  I feel like there's a bulleye on my chest now.
 
2014-04-25 10:06:07 AM
Same thing happening in STEM.
Glut the market and keep wages low.

Become plumbers, kids.

Besides, this whole "paying workers" thing has got to go. It's so damned socialist.
Who do they think they are, demanding pay?
And why should any company pay to train employees?
 
2014-04-25 10:08:05 AM
The tech giants that constantly biatch about a shortage of talent have been colluding to keep wages from rising to a level which might attract new talent

This benefits corporations, so jack-shiat will be done about it.
 
2014-04-25 10:19:49 AM
But but but the tech giants swear that they can't find enough workers, and that is why they need to bring in H1 Visa workers and pay them market wages sub market wages and drive salaries down.

Does anyone really think it's a coincidence that neither party wants to fix illegal immigration and both are pro-guest worker?

Micro econ 201 is right there. More labor but fixed supply of capital? Guess which side of that equation receives more of the output? Hint, who has been making out like bandits since the 70s? Workers or owners of capital?
 
2014-04-25 10:26:16 AM
There's a difference between "we can't find people to do the job" and "there's a shortage of transcendent geniuses who really should be making their own products and companies but we want to hire them to come up with our ideas and products for us".

The former isn't true, and to the extent that they don't have a training program then it's their fault.  The later is always true, but they shouldn't expect to be able to consistently get or maintain such people.
 
2014-04-25 10:27:56 AM
Fast food restaurants call that 'competitive wages'.

HotIgneous Intruder: Same thing happening in STEM.
Glut the market and keep wages low.

Become plumbers, kids.


Illegal*/unlicensed tradespeople drive prices down for the legitimate contractors.  That's why I don't use gray market labor.

*This is not meant to be anti-immigrant.  It is big business who determines our current enforcement policy.  THe vast majority of undocumented tradespeople with whom I have spoken would like to not be second or third class citizens.  It happens to be ridiculously easy to find off the books work in the trades.
 
2014-04-25 10:40:06 AM

gingerjet: They had no problem attracting new talent (lots of people like being paid 100k+ a year).  The "problem" (as George Lucas saw it) is that they wanted to stop the poaching of talent between each other which they feared (correctly) would increase salaries and disruptions within their organizations.

What's really stupid is that so many people decided to go along with it .... really shows you how unethical HR people can be.

/free market is a biatch


And CEOs of tech companies.
 
2014-04-25 10:53:53 AM
Suck it slaves...
 
2014-04-25 10:57:05 AM

nocturnal001: But but but the tech giants swear that they can't find enough workers, and that is why they need to bring in H1 Visa workers and pay them market wages sub market wages and drive salaries down.

Does anyone really think it's a coincidence that neither party wants to fix illegal immigration and both are pro-guest worker?

Micro econ 201 is right there. More labor but fixed supply of capital? Guess which side of that equation receives more of the output? Hint, who has been making out like bandits since the 70s? Workers or owners of capital?


At what point does the below-market wage become the market wage?
 
2014-04-25 10:58:41 AM

Xexre: This is not limited to tech, this is the entire goddamn country.


Well, 99% of it.
 
2014-04-25 11:00:13 AM

hej: hej: As a Fark Armchair Lawyer, the main problem I see with this lawsuit is that while these companies agreed not to poach employees from eachother, they didn't (as far as we know) conspire and all agree to pay a given salary for a given job/level of experience.  There's nothing to stop them from one upping each other when it comes to hiring the "new talent."

Also, so far as I know, this agreement between the companies only goes so far as to stop them from soliciting their employees.  Nothing to stop an employee from approaching a the other companies.


Unfortunately, there was email communication between Jobs and another company (Google, if I recall correctly) reported in another article that indicated the policy went beyond solicitation.

An Apple engineer in Paris wanted to get a job with Google, Google emailed Jobs, Jobs vetoed it without explanation and the engineer wasn't hired.
 
2014-04-25 11:03:12 AM

sendtodave: nocturnal001: But but but the tech giants swear that they can't find enough workers, and that is why they need to bring in H1 Visa workers and pay them market wages sub market wages and drive salaries down.

Does anyone really think it's a coincidence that neither party wants to fix illegal immigration and both are pro-guest worker?

Micro econ 201 is right there. More labor but fixed supply of capital? Guess which side of that equation receives more of the output? Hint, who has been making out like bandits since the 70s? Workers or owners of capital?

At what point does the below-market wage become the market wage?


When companies stop manipulating wages as in the lawsuit referenced in the article or when they stop abusing a law that insists they pay market wages to guest workers when in practice they do not.

Pretty simple.
 
2014-04-25 11:06:11 AM
How about they stop calling tech workers "managers", so they don't have to pay overtime?
 
2014-04-25 11:09:54 AM
If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.
 
2014-04-25 11:10:08 AM

nocturnal001: sendtodave: nocturnal001: But but but the tech giants swear that they can't find enough workers, and that is why they need to bring in H1 Visa workers and pay them market wages sub market wages and drive salaries down.

Does anyone really think it's a coincidence that neither party wants to fix illegal immigration and both are pro-guest worker?

Micro econ 201 is right there. More labor but fixed supply of capital? Guess which side of that equation receives more of the output? Hint, who has been making out like bandits since the 70s? Workers or owners of capital?

At what point does the below-market wage become the market wage?

When companies stop manipulating wages as in the lawsuit referenced in the article or when they stop abusing a law that insists they pay market wages to guest workers when in practice they do not.

Pretty simple.


OK

So, at what point does the below-market wage become the market wage?

I mean, to me, market wage means "what employers are willing to pay," based on supply and demand.  I'm pretty sure that's the definition.

Which means, it seems, that laws which either limit the supply (of cheap foreign labor), or state that they should be paid more than what the employer wants to pay, are actually keeping wages artificially high.
 
2014-04-25 11:12:18 AM
342 Million divided by 64,000 workers comes out to just over $5300 per person. You know the real value will be less, because the lawyers get their share too.

On the flip side, the companies were systematically depressing workers' wages by thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per year (remember this is the valley, where random developers start out at $130K). This just goes to show how fundamentally broken the legal system is. They're settling for a small fraction of what they've actually been damaged.
 
2014-04-25 11:20:11 AM

beakerxf: hej: hej: As a Fark Armchair Lawyer, the main problem I see with this lawsuit is that while these companies agreed not to poach employees from eachother, they didn't (as far as we know) conspire and all agree to pay a given salary for a given job/level of experience.  There's nothing to stop them from one upping each other when it comes to hiring the "new talent."

Also, so far as I know, this agreement between the companies only goes so far as to stop them from soliciting their employees.  Nothing to stop an employee from approaching a the other companies.

Unfortunately, there was email communication between Jobs and another company (Google, if I recall correctly) reported in another article that indicated the policy went beyond solicitation.

An Apple engineer in Paris wanted to get a job with Google, Google emailed Jobs, Jobs vetoed it without explanation and the engineer wasn't hired.


"If a Pixar employee applies to Intel without being recruited by Intel, contact Pat Gelsinger and explain to him a Pixar employee (provide the candidates name) has applied to Intel without being recruited and he will contact the CEO of Pixar for approval to hire," read the Intel document.
 
2014-04-25 11:21:21 AM
So, each plaintiff gets about 3-grand after lawyer fees. Sounds like a really good deal...for the defendants.
 
2014-04-25 11:21:45 AM

Thunderbox: If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.


If only tech and IT workers weren't unfairly classified as exempt employees so they could legally unionize.

The early automotive, aerospace, and spaceflight industry taught business managers that they're utterly incompetent to manage so-called "knowledge workers". In the tech sector, virtually everyone is a "knowledge worker", so when the people on top wised up to the fact that they no longer had the ability to understand what their workers did, much less manage them effectively, they lobbied congress to regulate the bejeezus out of it.

IT people are routinely expected to work long hours, odd hours, and shifting hours. For any moderately sized institution, you try to upgrade key systems between 12:00AM and 4:00AM so as to avoid service disruptions. Your workload can vary wildly depending on deployments, rollouts, and things totally outside of your control like virus outbreaks or security breaches (think Heartbleed). If IT folks could unionize, then they'd have to be paid overtime and they could demand normal working conditions.
 
2014-04-25 11:22:44 AM

Fubini: 342 Million divided by 64,000 workers comes out to just over $5300 per person. You know the real value will be less, because the lawyers get their share too.


Ah...I should have read the entire thread before replying. Shakes tiny fist... :)
 
2014-04-25 11:24:21 AM

mcreadyblue: "If a Pixar employee applies to Intel without being recruited by Intel, contact Pat Gelsinger and explain to him a Pixar employee (provide the candidates name) has applied to Intel without being recruited and he will contact the CEO of Pixar for approval to hire," read the Intel document.


I seriously wonder whether there were ever any repercussions for workers who applied to jobs outside the company. Things like getting shunted off a promotion track because their managers knew they were looking around.

More than just denying people fair wages, they're creating an atmosphere were the worker's can't trust their employers.
 
2014-04-25 11:25:51 AM

sendtodave: nocturnal001: sendtodave: nocturnal001: But but but the tech giants swear that they can't find enough workers, and that is why they need to bring in H1 Visa workers and pay them market wages sub market wages and drive salaries down.

Does anyone really think it's a coincidence that neither party wants to fix illegal immigration and both are pro-guest worker?

Micro econ 201 is right there. More labor but fixed supply of capital? Guess which side of that equation receives more of the output? Hint, who has been making out like bandits since the 70s? Workers or owners of capital?

At what point does the below-market wage become the market wage?

When companies stop manipulating wages as in the lawsuit referenced in the article or when they stop abusing a law that insists they pay market wages to guest workers when in practice they do not.

Pretty simple.

OK

So, at what point does the below-market wage become the market wage?

I mean, to me, market wage means "what employers are willing to pay," based on supply and demand.  I'm pretty sure that's the definition.

Which means, it seems, that laws which either limit the supply (of cheap foreign labor), or state that they should be paid more than what the employer wants to pay, are actually keeping wages artificially high.


What are you going on about?

A true market wage is what wages would be without these manipulations. This is not what we have currently. What don't you understand? You think that limiting the influx of migrants is manipulating wages? That's quite a radical stance.
 
2014-04-25 11:26:08 AM
Why no criminal case?  Aren't there laws against this shiat?
 
2014-04-25 11:32:18 AM

nocturnal001: What are you going on about?

A true market wage is what wages would be without these manipulations. This is not what we have currently. What don't you understand? You think that limiting the influx of migrants is manipulating wages? That's quite a radical stance.


Isn't that kinda the point of limiting the influx of immigrants?   To keep wages higher than they would be than if there was a sudden glut of cheap workers?

Via artificial (legal, etc.) means?


I'm not saying it's a bad thing.  It's actually a very good thing that we get paid more than your average Chinese worker.

But it is a thing.
 
2014-04-25 11:33:27 AM
"It" just rolls in from all different directions, endlessly, like the stale stink of vomit and sour beer.  The dregs of every human culture, from every civilization that has ever existed, swirl around our crapholes, toilets, and outhouses, posing like royalty amongst our best and brightest...
 
2014-04-25 11:35:42 AM

Fubini: More than just denying people fair wages, they're creating an atmosphere were the worker's can't trust their employers.


Workers could ever trust their employers?
 
2014-04-25 11:38:45 AM
"You are lucky to have a job.  You are very lucky to have a decent paying job.  You owe us quite a bit for employing you."

"I want a better job.  A better paying job.  I'm going across the street."

"Just who the fark do you think you are?  We own you."

Modern labor relations.
 
2014-04-25 11:39:41 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Why no criminal case?  Aren't there laws against this shiat?


To big to jail.
 
2014-04-25 11:43:46 AM
Ahh the classic cycle:

Executives: "Let's drive down wages so we can get our bonuses this quarter!"
*Next Quarter*
Executives: "Why isn't anyone buying our products? Better cut labor again so we can get our bonuses!"

/Executives need to take a lesson from Henry Ford
 
2014-04-25 11:45:02 AM

sendtodave: Fubini: More than just denying people fair wages, they're creating an atmosphere were the worker's can't trust their employers.

Workers could ever trust their employers?


Yes. The current state of affairs is awful.
 
2014-04-25 11:46:55 AM

Thunderbox: If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.


IT workers have for years felt they were above unions representation and outright rejected unions when they were approached by them. I remember in a few Fark threads years ago there were many people who claimed to be IT workers who claimed the same. They played right into the corporations hands and have been getting screwed since.
 
2014-04-25 11:47:57 AM
Are we talking about the guys that work so diligently on making video game breasts bounce in a visually appealing way?

Because I totally think those guys deserve more money. It is things like making breast graphics better that drives the world of innovation.  Much like the demand for pronography has driven increases in internes speeds.
 
2014-04-25 11:50:11 AM
If we hate freedom hard enough, Tinkerbelle lives!
 
2014-04-25 11:53:01 AM

Fubini: sendtodave: Fubini: More than just denying people fair wages, they're creating an atmosphere were the worker's can't trust their employers.

Workers could ever trust their employers?

Yes. The current state of affairs is awful.


Huh.

I've never been able to trust my employers.

Are you very old?
 
2014-04-25 11:56:59 AM

sendtodave: nocturnal001: What are you going on about?

A true market wage is what wages would be without these manipulations. This is not what we have currently. What don't you understand? You think that limiting the influx of migrants is manipulating wages? That's quite a radical stance.

Isn't that kinda the point of limiting the influx of immigrants?   To keep wages higher than they would be than if there was a sudden glut of cheap workers?

Via artificial (legal, etc.) means?

I'm not saying it's a bad thing.  It's actually a very good thing that we get paid more than your average Chinese worker.

But it is a thing.


It's a thing that doesn't make sense in the context of this conversation. We also don't allow an unlimited influx of foreign goods or capital either.
 
2014-04-25 11:59:34 AM

ongbok: Thunderbox: If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.

IT workers have for years felt they were above unions representation and outright rejected unions when they were approached by them. I remember in a few Fark threads years ago there were many people who claimed to be IT workers who claimed the same. They played right into the corporations hands and have been getting screwed since.


People have pushed to unionize I/T workers since I started, back in the 1990s.
 
2014-04-25 12:04:29 PM

Gary-L: ongbok: Thunderbox: If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.

IT workers have for years felt they were above unions representation and outright rejected unions when they were approached by them. I remember in a few Fark threads years ago there were many people who claimed to be IT workers who claimed the same. They played right into the corporations hands and have been getting screwed since.

People have pushed to unionize I/T workers since I started, back in the 1990s.


And IT workers have always rejected them because they felt they were above unions.
 
2014-04-25 12:08:14 PM
So the workers win, but they still dont get paid.

Everybody wants Tech. Nobody wants to pay Technicians...
 
2014-04-25 12:17:39 PM

cefm: There's a difference between "we can't find people to do the job" and "there's a shortage of transcendent geniuses who really should be making their own products and companies but we want to hire them to come up with our ideas and products for us".

The former isn't true, and to the extent that they don't have a training program then it's their fault.  The later is always true, but they shouldn't expect to be able to consistently get or maintain such people.


That's why I love message boards that complain about NFL quarterbacks who don't perform like Peyton Manning, Cutler and Romo being the prime examples as decent QBs who get a lot of grief. They get paid the way they do not because they are Peyton Manning (the trascendent), it's because out of the 95 or so quarterbacks that were drafted in the last 8 years, they've still out-performed 90% of those draft picks. The Mannings and Rodgers of the football world are few-and-far-between, and you shouldn't expect that as the average result.
 
2014-04-25 12:20:12 PM

ongbok: Gary-L: ongbok: Thunderbox: If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.

IT workers have for years felt they were above unions representation and outright rejected unions when they were approached by them. I remember in a few Fark threads years ago there were many people who claimed to be IT workers who claimed the same. They played right into the corporations hands and have been getting screwed since.

People have pushed to unionize I/T workers since I started, back in the 1990s.

And IT workers have always rejected them because they felt they were above unions.


Of course we do.  We are salaried office workers, not burger flippers!
 
2014-04-25 12:27:31 PM

ongbok: Gary-L: ongbok: Thunderbox: If only there was some way employees could band together and withdraw their labour til some modest demands are met.

IT workers have for years felt they were above unions representation and outright rejected unions when they were approached by them. I remember in a few Fark threads years ago there were many people who claimed to be IT workers who claimed the same. They played right into the corporations hands and have been getting screwed since.

People have pushed to unionize I/T workers since I started, back in the 1990s.

And IT workers have always rejected them because they felt they were above unions.


Not really.  For the longest time, I/T people have always been able to command higher pay *provided* they knew the right time to jump.  It has also depended on what skills were in-demand.

A great example is the Y2K fiasco (I call it a fiasco because the "dangers" were overblown).  If someone had merely read COBOL code (yes, I exaggerate, but others will agree) or even owned a COBOL book they were being courted and hounded with high paying offers.  Companies had to develop compensation strategies to prevent coders from jumping ship.  The same is true for early Web development.  "OH, you just graduated and learned Java???  We'll pay you $80K per yearwhencanyoustart?????"

There was a time a Certified Novell Network Engineer could literally command the coffers to spill forth until he drowned in cash.

The only way I/T people will even consider unionizing is if more of the egregious actions of Google, Apple, Facebook, et al, are exposed along with I/T workers tired of being shat on because of the BS argument that H1-B visa numbers need to be increased due to a shortage of I/T workers.
 
2014-04-25 12:31:47 PM

nocturnal001: It's a thing that doesn't make sense in the context of this conversation. We also don't allow an unlimited influx of foreign goods or capital either.


I was responding to:

nocturnal001: But but but the tech giants swear that they can't find enough workers, and that is why they need to bring in H1 Visa workers and pay them market wages sub market wages and drive salaries down.


Just trying to understand the situation.  They can't find enough workers ... at the price that they are willing to pay.

Their expectations of what the market price should be, and what the price for an average US IT worker actually is, aren't aligned.   The market price is being kept higher than they want to pay.  But if the employers can't determine the price that work is worth, it's not really a market price anymore, is it?

"I'm willing to pay you 50 bucks to work for me."
"Going rate in this market for my labor is 100 bucks."
"I will pay a foreigner 60 bucks, and you will get zero bucks."

The actual market rate should be 60 bucks, right?  Since that is what they paid to fill the position?
 
2014-04-25 12:31:54 PM

Xexre: This needed to go to court, this needed to get blown up in media and there needed to be some public awareness around this. This is not limited to tech, this is the entire goddamn country. Instead this gets swept under the rug after a mention in the New York Times and a few blogs and life goes back to the usual quid pro quo arrangements.


Why?
Isn't this a bit like if MLB teams colluded to keep the price of star free agents down? There's no reason for the utility infielders to get outraged. And frankly most people in IT aren't even like utility infielders. They're more like hotdog vendors.
 
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