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back to article Contractors risk mini-Microsoft-protest

Microsoft contractors unhappy with a 10 per cent pay cut took to the streets just as senior management - again - talked up future hiring. The revolution does not start here: Just 15 temps showed up to protest the cuts yesterday evening (Monday) at an intersection near Microsoft's corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington. …

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Bronze badge

Making a loss

I can only presume that MS are going to make a loss this year, and I mean a real loss not a reduction in profits that most companies report as loss. If not then this is hardly a fair move.

But then that's just the opinion of a man who sees a profit as a profit even if down on the last fiscal year.

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Know your role

Did I just read this arcticle correctly? You're a contractor and you're staging a demonstration? Has the stress finally caused the neurons that control reasoning ability to deep-fry?

What rights do you think you have? By definition: Contractor - Disposable Employee.

You are there for an interim determined by the whim of some bean counter. You are not required to recieve notice of any kind upon termination. No severance pay. No benefits. Maybe if they liked you enough you will get a mouse pad with their logo on it.

1,985 of your colleagues at least had common sense. I am a career contractor and although I haven't had to take a pay cut yet what choice would I have? Make 90% of my current salary or 0%.

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Silver badge

Jobs != jobs

It is perfectly good business sense to be laying off some contractors while hiring others.

There people being hired probably have different skill sets to those that are now no longer required.

You don't want some html monkey or C# programmer writing OS code, or vice versea.

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Plenty would take the cut

Just taken a 8% cut myself (not from MS) .... seemed better than the alternative.

It happens ....

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hmmm

so 2000 contractors didn't turn up to a protest that there might be 2-3000 permament jobs at microsoft?

odd that, isn't it?

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Gates Horns

Contractors

Are contractors, you know, employed under a contract. And surely that contract specifies the rate of compensation they will receive for the duration of the contact. So, how is it that Microsoft can just turn around and rewrite these contracts half way through?

Or is it just new contracts that this applies to?

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Anonymous Coward

@Goat Jam

In all likelihood the contract will have a termination clause (they pretty much all seem to these days) so in effect MS etc. are not re-writing contracts as such, they are terminating existing contracts and offering new ones. These new ones will have the super new reduced rate of compensation.

It is highly likely that should you refuse the cut you will prejudice your chances of any future contracting / employment opportunities within Microsoft.

And as has been already pointed out as a contractor you have [virtually] no employment rights from the end client so your choice is basically take the cut or take a hike. That is one of the downsides of contracting. You pay your money you takes your chance.

As I have said before, any contractor that takes the full 10% cut is a fool, your agency should shoulder most, if not all of the cut for you. And if you contract direct then your rates will already be high enough to suck up a 10% reduction.

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IT Angle

R&D

All that money $8bn - and they give us a table computer (surface) , a lock in lose a crystal, flash competitor (silverlight) and windows vista reskinned (windows 7).

Then they have the cheek to try and hit Tom Tom for using 1970s technology (FAT filesystem).

What a bunch of useless incompetent people.

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Flame

Can't believe that there are still clueless idiots who still think they are irreplaceable

@Lee:

"As I have said before, any contractor that takes the full 10% cut is a fool, your agency should shoulder most, if not all of the cut for you."

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. You obviously are neither a contractor nor do you have many aquaintances who are to be posting something like that. If their rates get reduced, so will yours. This in not 1997. If your agency can't make a profit from you they will from someone else. You WILL take the cut. Or leave. What are you going to do, tell the agency you refuse to take the pay cut? Then what? They're going to beg and plead with you and finally agree to absorb the cut in spite of the 1,000+ CV's they receive on a weekly basis? Once you wake up from that lovely dream and return to the reality that a large percentage of talented IT collegues are waiting in line to fill your postition (some for a lower rate than you are paid) you can view your employment with the proper perspective.

Only a fool would think that as a contractor the agency you work for gives a rat's ass about you. This is 17 years of consulting typing here, I've worked direct and through far too many agencies to remember. The only difference between any of them is the name of the agency on the paycheck.

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Alert

10% vs Termination

I'm a contractor at one of the publicly owned Banks. I'm greatful to have a job, and if my employer want's to cut my rate by 10%, then that's a hell of a lot better then being unemployed for months!

When things are good, and you are being offered contracts then there is always room for negotiation, at the moment there is none. Deal with it.

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Go

10% vs Termination

How about 10% of what you get now or termination?

Not such a wise-acre now? Continue writing software for hourly wages without royalties, and you get what you deserve.

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