Amazingly, I've joined a union...
During 22 years in the industry, I have always felt that I've been in a good bargaining position. I have technical skills that are, whilst not exactly rare, not exactly commonplace either. I have a good appreciation of business costs, and have saved previous companies I have worked for an absolute fortune (I could, annually, justify my salary 2-3 times over with hard irrefutable evidence, which has earned me several reasonable (for a techie - i.e. approx 10%) annual bonuses).
I then came to work for EDS (now "EDS, an HP company")... No bonuses, despite fantastic reviews. One salary increase, which I had to fight for, and which only just matched inflation - and that was very hard-won. No recognition for anything - we are pigeon-holed into tiny little areas of skill (mostly documentation skills) - there is no room for creative thinking, either technically, or even from a cost-saving point of view.
So - you're now asking "why did you come to EDS, an HP company, if it is so bad?, and why don't you just leave?"
The answer to the first question is: "it was a mistake" - I thought that a billion-dollar multinational *must* operate differently to the way it does...
The answer to the second question is: "at the moment, they pay the mortgage and feed the children". I don't know how long this second element will continue... All I know is that in the two years of working for "EDS, an HP company" I have not been offered one single reason to show any loyalty...
The company treats us as nameless "resources" - SAP decides everything - a guy I know, who was gainfully employed on a project, was given a compulsory redundancy notice in the last round - with marching orders for the 31st Jan, because (in SAP) he wasn't assigned to any project. He was only reprieved on the 29th Jan, after many frantic phone calls and much heartache.
I am *not* accepting the pay cut - a contract is a two-way thing. The continual lack of cost-of-living increases has been an effective pay-cut that has already been meted out. Smaller companies, with real humans running the show, and the genuine interests of the employees at heart may have had a different response, but this bunch of corporate swindlers can take a hike.
Back to the subject line - I never thought I would join a union - but today I joined Unite... When my line manager wants to "discuss" why I have not consented to the pay cut, I want as much help as I can muster...
One other thought: If the company fired the mindless lackeys (Joe Eazor, Ann Livermore, Steve Gill, Sean Finnan, Bill Thomas to name some of the "bigwigs", not to mention the many account-level lackeys) who's only role seems to be to cut/paste the garbage that Hurd sends out with their own name at bottom - how much money would it save? Their salaries, plus $42M in Hurd bonuses would go *very* long way to reducing costs.
An example of the tactless crap that we have to put up with - from Ann Livermore (a day after we found out that they were "offering" us all the pay cut):-
"We have the portfolio, we have the people, and we have the competitive advantage. The time is NOW for us to attack. I need your help to deliver a Q2 that we will all be proud of.
Best Regards, Ann"
The words "off", "moron" and "feck" immediately sprang to mind. I'll leave it to the reader to put them together to recreate the sentiment.
Multiply this by several other tactless, unoriginal e-mails from people that have *nothing* to add (other than to increase their "legend in their own lunchtime" publicity within the rapidly dwindling company) , and you get the picture.
We have this scenario repeated each time there's bad news. One message from the head honcho, who despised as he is, at least has some weight behind his words - even if it takes him three paragraphs of crap to get to... followed by a few hours where you can imagine the lackeys running around like headless chickens, wondering what they should do... then they think of their BRILLIANT plan "What if I *repeat* the original communication, but put *my* name on the bottom - all the idiot employees will think that *I'm* really clever, worthwhile and have real decision making powers?"
Then repeat for account-level lackeys... It usually results in about 8 emails on the same subject with no new content.
At least Ms Livermore didn't include the nauseating grinning photo this time, as the rusty and poisoned knife came twisting in - a small mercy.