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back to article Sacked British RIM staffers to get minimum legal payout

Staff at RIM's UK headquarters were upset to see their VP tweeting about foie gras as they learned that the hundreds of them who will lose their jobs by the end of the year will be receiving the bare minimum redundancy payout that the government allows. A source told The Reg that the staffers who will be out the door before …

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Anonymous Coward

That BlackBerry has a *crap* camera

Seriously - I can't make out anything.

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Mushroom

Re: That BlackBerry has a *crap* camera

He is probably using an iPhone - I can't see a senior executive putting up with a Blackberry these days....

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Anonymous Coward

The term you are looking for is I think

"What a f*****g wa**er".

May his hemmorrhoids for ever cause him discomfort.

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Windows

Re: That BlackBerry has a *crap* camera

my humble curve's camera can photo a sheet of A4 so you can read every word.... in decent light. The image in question looks like it is in some dark hole, which sounds about right.

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Anonymous Coward

Marketing

He's VP of Marketing. That means he doesn't live on the same planet as everybody else.

On his planet, RIM are expanding and their products are the best in the world (his world).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Marketing

you must be out to lunch. Are you talking all the marking folks they let go last year who ran it for the last 5+? or the new marketing folks they just brought in?

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Alert

Re: Marketing

Undoubtably true, but from a cursory examination of the tweet he doesn't say he actually ordered the fois gras.

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Silver badge

Poutine...

...is a little more than just chips and gravy- You forgot the curds.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poutine...

The are lots of variations, but the core is chips, gravy and cheese curds.

Having seen the horror that a mid-to-northern Maine chain restaurant served (meh fries, thick nasty gravy and some nasty yellow cheese) I was put off until we stopped for lunch in a small town in Quebec while passing through.

Do not underestimate the importance of cheese curds.

On our last trip over the border we found that you can buy curds _everywhere_. Small stores have bags on the counter as if they were chewing gum or sweets.

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Re: Poutine...

Cheese turds! Who eats cheese turds?? Gack!?

Master rod

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Re: Poutine...

quote: "On our last trip over the border we found that you can buy curds _everywhere_. Small stores have bags on the counter as if they were chewing gum or sweets."

...and in some places they are still warm as they were only made that morning, and they squeek...and that my friends is what you need to make real poutine - fresh squeeky curds. All else is just a greasy mess of chip gravy and cheese.

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Anonymous Coward

Singapore?

I see the error here.

When they say foie gras they actually mean faux grass.

They probably use Google Translate for the menu's.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Singapore?

(a) it would be "faux grass la" for a start (if you've lived there for any time you'll get this one)

(b) they speak damn good English there, but AFAIK there are enough people too who are capable of looking up the correct way of writing or even speak French.

I have no idea what your view of Singapore is based on, but I'd recommend visiting.

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Bronze badge

Re: Singapore?

Singaporeans have exceptional English already lah, but the country itself is duller than a weekend in Bognor Regis.

Still, it's definitely worth a visit if you didn't spend most of your formative years hopping around SE Asia. (Malaysia,Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia: jungles Mountains, ruined temples, orangutans! Singapore... Oh look an electronics store.)

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Re: Singapore?

Have to agree - Singapore is what you would get if the Swiss designed Kuala Lumpur. Very clean but mostly a large number of expensive shopping malls joined up by a really good transport system. A large number of ex-pats and everyone speaks English.

I prefer Bukit Bintang, KL though for all of it's oddities (or maybe because of them) :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: they speak damn good English there

And it certainly includes expensive restaurant English

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Headmaster

Sacked?

Surely they are/were being made redundant not sacked?

Huge difference albeit both mean you don't actually turn up for work at some point...

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Re: Sacked?

Marketing types are always redundant so it would have confused things to use that word.

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Anonymous Coward

19 Singapore Dollars...

That's about 10 quid.

He's a cheap date. Especially for a Marketing VP.

A salute his austere dining habits.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 19 Singapore Dollars...

I did a project there, and our daily food allowance was £25. If you're not into alcohol and like Asian food that's enough to feed a family.

On the other hand, if you DON'T like Asian food you may have a problem :).

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Story about nothing

For the life of me I can't see any story here, he is only making a comment about an odd menu item. Something that is classed as fine dining food being served with a fast food. It's a bit like going to a chip shop and asking for a cheesy gravy chip served with caviare. Looking at the menu would suggest he is in a fast food place and is not actually boasting about eating Fois Gras.

I notice you didn't do an article about his tweet right after the fois gras one, which reads...

"Ok new experience. A tandoori chicken wrap purchased from "O'Briens Irish Sandwiches" in Singapore."

You see, pointless one sided nothing out of context articles like this are what keeps Fox News going. Perhaps a logo change is order of the day El Reg.

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Mushroom

Au contraire

Its a story about how, yet again, the executive class, which should regard itself as no more than a necessary overhead, is living it up and filling its boots whilst the people who do the real work have to tighten their belts again and again.

Its (almost) enough to turn you into a damned socialist.

Aux lanternes! Aux lanternes!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Au contraire

> is living it up and filling its boots

In a fast food restaurant?

> whilst the people who do the real work have to tighten their belts again and again.

What do you define as real work? The people being made redundant are from the European Headquarters so I doubt they actually get their hands dirty manufacturing anything.

I suspect that your definition of "real work" is just about anything that doesn't fulfil a management role.

One other thing, every member of the "executive class" I have ever met have got there through promotion. They all (except for one) came from a middle or working class background. None of them were motivated purely by greed, they had the same motivations as everybody else (keep their jobs, feed their family, get ahead etc).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Au contraire

Pretty much like Commodore. They were running a private jet up until the last days prior to them being wound up.

There's a lesson to be learnt here somewhere.

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Paris Hilton

maybe not a bad thing -

Ok, it sucks to lose a job, but the way RIM are going its better to secure a future now, than have to fight for the few remaining jobs with the rest of the rim unemployed when they go pear shaped.

Paris since I used a transitive verb </friday>

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Anonymous Coward

Interested in how the company complies with the Law's

Given they have jobs advertised I hope those being laid off are fairly offered the opertunities and retraining.

Still given that they have not been in slough that many years I can only feel sorry for those being laid off who moved to be nearer work and save on nightmare journeys.

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Devil

Re: Interested in how the company complies with the Law's

I feel sorry for those who remain in Slough.

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Anonymous Coward

@ PXG

I'm afraid insist that you permanently remove that apostrophe key from your keyboard, in the interests of preserving the sanity of those who are able to communicate properly in English.

Or, better still, disconnect the keyboard from the computer altogether

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ PXG

"I'm afraid insist that you permanently" Do I win a prize if I guess the correct order of words?

Oh shall I say Oh look somebody anon is making fun at things without saying exactly what is wrong and how it should be done, fuck off ;p

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Re: @ PXG

Uhm... computer will not start without the keyboard.....ya think?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ PXG

Some words do indeed seem to have sneaked off out of that sentence.

The point was that you are using apostrophes incorrectly.

You could take ten seconds to look up the rules, they are actually quite simple. In fact your day job probably involves things that are considerably more complex.

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Big Brother

Minimum Legal Payout

Surely the real scandal is the Statutory Redundancy pay which is currently capped at £430 per year of service (roughly).

When first introduced in 1965 it was £40.

The current equivalent of which would be around £638.

Makes it much cheaper for international companies to lay-off employees in the UK compared to the rest of Europe.

Of course it also makes it attractive for companies to hire in the UK knowing they can divest themselves of staff at relatively low cost.

Not sure that really makes for a solid basis for a stable economy.

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Thumb Down

Re: Minimum Legal Payout@Ironclad

"Of course it also makes it attractive for companies to hire in the UK knowing they can divest themselves of staff at relatively low cost."

Actually the cost of getting rid of people isn't important, it's how easy and quickly it can be done. The cost of most reorganisations is considerable, but even if you give people two year's salary, that's still a two year return on the "investment". In terms of the country specific costs, that's largely irrelevant because you don't plan to take on people and make them redundant.

What I didn't notice in the article was mention that earlier this year RIM gave the two "joint CEO's" who got the boot $12m for "loss of office". Now that's worse than the foie gras, in my view, because these two were the architects of the mess. So here's RIM's corporate values for you:

(a) If you are obscenely paid already but incompetent, get given an extra $6m to go away.

(b) If you are a corporate drone doing your best to keep the company going on a middling salary, get told to sod off in time for Christmas with a paltry few grand, and that only because the law says so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Minimum Legal Payout@Ironclad

One fact you left you was that Mike and Jim reduced their salary to $1 a week in 2011.

+1 to additional research next time.

People in the UK get much more than anyone in Canada, so cry foul all you want.

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Re: Minimum Legal Payout@Ironclad

"One fact you left you was that Mike and Jim reduced their salary to $1 a week in 2011."

And a couple of facts you left off, that Mike & Jim are each worth several hundred million dollars, and were only working for a dollar a month because they'd let the company drift so badly in the first place. So that's +1 to additional research for you too.

I would have thought enough Canadian jobs were being lost that you'd have managed to forget you colonial chip on the shoulder, and understand that this isn't getting at Canucks, but at useless and overpaid executives of whatever colour, flavour or nationality. We've got plenty of them in the UK, if you want more.

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Re: Minimum Legal Payout@Ironclad

Yep, typical British....Overpaid executives that walk around mumbling incoherently with their hands behind their backs...What is the point, and who cares. RIM makes some pretty obsolete products anyway. Maybe they should take a look at the Galaxy Note II. Now there is some real Samsung genius...

Master Rod

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At least Canadian severance is ...

one week per year of service and 4% of the last years salary for vacation.

Dirty deal for Brits, especially from a Canadian company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least Canadian severance is ...

It's not too dissimilar, is redundancy pay taxed in Canada If so the UK deal might be better..

In UK you get 1 weeks pay for each year worked between 22 and 40 . and 0.5 weeks pay for any other years. Tax free upto £30k.

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Mushroom

Re: At least Canadian severance is ...

"In UK you get 1 weeks pay for each year worked between 22 and 40 . and 0.5 weeks pay for any other years. Tax free upto £30k."

that's discriminatory and downright ageist... it makes it even cheaper to lay off the experienced older staff and the young fresh intake from schools. I can't believe that is still the actual requirements now that the age discrimination ban part of the Equality Act 2010 came into effect on the 1st of this month...

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Re: At least Canadian severance is ...

Redundancy - get it right!

.5 weeks up to 22

1 week between 22 and 40

1.5 weeks over 40.

So actually better if you're older.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least Canadian severance is ...

Ah, but hold on, the weekly amount is capped at £420 which can severely dent your expectations.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least Canadian severance is ...

Canada is taxed - and you also get much less notice. You can be fine one day, then walked out an hour later.

For a large severance you 'could' lose up to 40-45%.

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Unhappy

We note that poutine is a Montreal specialty consisting of chips and gravy.

Your note s WRONG!

You forgot the cheese curds - makes a big difference.. And it's a rural Quebec dish.

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Anonymous Coward

Really feel for those guys.

A few years ago, I was paid off as part of a "headcount reduction". It was painful and soul destroying for everyone. One of the very few things that kept us all going was the knowledge that the company at least had the decency to treat us as human beings and offer a package well above the legal minimum.

If RIM are so tight that they only offer the thinnest of safety nets, we know where not to looks for jobs in the future. Vote with your feet lads and make RIM eat their own shit when they get round to recruiting again.

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Anonymous Coward

FOI(e) request

For the expense sheet with the Foie Gras?

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Devil

Shear Luxury

I got made redundant in 2009. Thought Oh well, nice little packet heading my for 12 years service. Err no... We are not going to pay you anything, not even this months salary. Eh? We are broke, bust, kaput. Off to the dole I go. Sorry mate you can't get anything here, as your employer has not being paying your NI contributions. My employers in their last year of business awarded themselves big fat pay rises. So company was sold off at £22K by the administrator (sold to the investment firm that put the nail in the coffin previously), Investment firm then sold it on for £128K. It is still running now, with a vastly reduced order book and staff. I got the government minimum after several months. So if these guys get something, as they should. Good for them. Its not the end of the world. I started my own business, never looked back.

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Unhappy

Re: Shear Luxury

Your story about your last firm is quite common, sadly. RBS in particular have made a nice business out of doing this to a whole range of companies that they've lent to, in cahoots with the subsequent buyer and the administrators, and I think you'll read more about this

Not only do they shit on the employees, but these arrangements are specifically intended to shit on the investors who owned the original business, and the junior creditors (eg those who have sold things to the company). Key to it is the lender managing to trigger the insolvency of a cash strapped business that is otherwise fairly sound. Often the arrangement is wrapped up as a "prepack" administration, to make it all quick and profitable for the vultures (normally the senior secured lenders, and usually meaning the banks). Sometimes, rather than the banks, it is the original investors who use administration simply to dodge their liabilities, get out of employee obligations like pension commitments and bonuses, as well as losing all the debt the business had previously built up. Companies House should ban directors of insolvent companies from being a director for five years, and the law should ban them from buying the assets of a company they have been a director of at the time, or immediately prior to insolvency.

Not all, but many of these deals are blatant and wilful fraud, but they continue because the goverrnment are (still) in the pocket of the banks, the FSA, well, not worth their own weight in shit, and the SFO are just out of their depth and too slow, and the courts still treat white collar crime as no more serious than parking offences.

To anybody thinking about fraud, go on help yourself! Nobody is likely to catch you, and even if they do the penalties are pathetic.

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plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

I remember in the 1980's when working on a joint project with employees of a then well known SI, my colleagues from that company being furious that their MD had turned up in a brand new Ferrari and promptly announced major redundancies due to poor company performance.

That company no longer exists, having been long subsumed into a US conglomerate. Can you guess who they were.

I worked then for a French SI then, which, considering its size, unbelievably still exists as an independent, well done Alten.

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