Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Microsoft Lays Off 3,000 As Ballmer Refuses To Outsource Self

"I bought and ate the cake (even paid taxes on it) and look what it got me..."
-American White Collar Professional-

Redmond, WA Heads are rolling again into the moat of Microsoft. Mwahahahaha…

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is axing heads by the thousands, and who knew he would refuse to outsource himself? Or his master, Bill “The Reamer of Redmond” Gates?

This Computerworld article reports that Microsoft Corp. today laid off 3,000 workers, the second wave of a major reduction the company announced in January. And in a memo to employees, CEO Steve Ballmer said MORE cuts “are possible.” So why all the layoffs?

Aside from the ususal profit hording at the top, consumer confidence is at an all time low, and contrary to what the insulated, gated community of neo-frat boys wants to believe, their inhumane and counterproductive hiring practices are adversely affecting their brand demand. Never mind the negative impact this shoddy hiring practice of replacing American professionals with cheap foreign labor has on the actual “quality” of their products, as nobody needs to invoke Vista or Windows 7 or Zune to conclude that Gates & Co. is no stranger to every neo-frat boy’s dirty secret, the human trafficking profit center or the Cash Cow of Indian Outsourcing.

Ballmer wrote a confirmed e-mail that was reconfirmed by an unnamed, unconfirmed Microsoft “spokeswoman” below:

"As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure, including additional job eliminations. As part of the plan we announced in January to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, today we are eliminating additional positions across several areas of the company. While job eliminations are always difficult, we are taking these necessary actions in response to the global economic downturn."

So who’s getting the axe? Ballmer’s email provides a partial explanation, stating that half of the 3,000 workers are in the U.S. and the half are “elsewhere”:

“The 3,000 employees notified today are split between workers in the United States and elsewhere, said a spokeswoman. "With this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010," Ballmer wrote.

The cuts are said to be scattered among all levels of the organization, according to this CNET News report. What Ballmers’s email does not explain is how many of those in the U.S. are H-1B visa holders, contractors (a-dash or v-dash) or American citizens? With this recent layoff of 1,500 workers in the U.S., what is to stop Microsoft from going one further step down the legalized slave wage arbitration food chain to replace those 1,500 “slots” via other even cheaper slave labor wage import programs known as the F-1 and OPT student visas?

This Computerworld article written by Patrick Thibodeau in March, 2009, (make sure not to miss the comments) explains that Microsoft’s counsel, Brad Smith, notes that the U.S. has “large enrollments of foreign students” essentially and presumably waiting in the wings to cut in front of Americans for Microsoft’s job slots. The article explains an exchange Smith had with Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who “insists that the software maker has an "imperative" to ensure that American workers "have priority in keeping their jobs over foreign workers on visa programs." Thibodeau explains:

“Citing the large enrollments of foreign students in graduate and doctoral programs and its need to hire these graduates, Smith told Grassley that "we do not expect to see a significant change in the proportion of H-1B employees in our workforce following the job reductions."

This race to the bottom is planned and fueled from the top, and the biggest question remaining is will Microsoft hire Americans to fill these positions or continue its war on America’s white collar middle class?

“Microsoft also pointed out that its planned job cuts are not as bad as they seem. Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Wash., laid off 1,400 employees in January, more than 800 of whom are in Washington state.

But during the same 18-month period in which it will cut 5,000 jobs, Microsoft said it plans to hire 2,000 to 3,000 people, meaning the potential net payroll reduction may be no more than 2,000 jobs. The company did not say what percentage of those new hires will be in the U.S. It employs about 90,000 people worldwide, and about half of those workers are in the U.S.”

So how to restore the Social Contract? With elitist sociopaths running sociopathic politicians for fun and profit, one Computerworld article commenter raised the spectre of the decline of our civilization below:

"No snowflake in an avalanche feels responsible."
There is no longer an ideal or society that people and companies feel obligated to uphold. If hiring H-1B's can trim G&A and rise profits another 10%, there is not an executive around that wouldn't do this today. It makes them look better to superiors or stockholders and ultimately raises stock value (and thus, their pocket).

Party on, plebes!



2Truthy said...

To be fair, I must add that this would be the perfect time for MS to get rid of all the excess driftwood and rethink their hiring strategies.

Now, back to that Brooklyn Bridge deal I'm trying to close...

Anonymous said...

i start back at ms in 4 days! it really isn't hard for a career professional with moxie to outperform an American newgrad OR one from any other nation. MS's hiring policy is certainly more effective than your editorial policy. ;) NOW GIVE ME SASSY ABUSE AND MALIGN THE MESSENGER FOR THE MESSAGE! - mcfnord