Friday, August 03, 2007

Dude, You're Getting A Pink Slip

"It's a difficult decision to make and one we understand is significant for the people affected, so we're doing everything we can to help them transition beyond Dell," spokesman David Frink told the Roseburg News-Review.

He said the company announced plans in May to reduce employment worldwide by 10 percent. He said the Roseburg location is the only such center in the United States to close.

Frink said the closure has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed by employees of the Roseburg center in February, claiming Dell violated federal and state wage and hour laws.

I used to have a Dell computer. At that point, outsourcing the call centers had already begun. Calling up tech support and hearing from a man with a Bangalore, India dialect who told me his name was "Mike", who couldn't help me with my problem helped me to decide to go with a different brand.

This news only confirms that notion. Companies like Dell who outsource their shops or screw the employees over who remain in the U.S. are not our friends. Of course this lawsuit had a great deal to do with Dell closing the plant. It's a corporate version of a horse head in your bed. They could just admit they are bastards and not try to insult our intelligence.

You complain about working overtime without being paid, and this is what can happen to you. The median income in Roseburg is just $31,000 per household. Laying 200 people off without notice in a town of 21,000 is really not going to help matters too much. Think of a company announcing at 10 AM in the morning that they were pulling 75,000 jobs in NYC instantly. That is the economic impact Roseberg faces today.

The lawsuit btw was over legitimate reasons. Dell was using a computer system that was designed to steal pay from employees.

Examples of the unlawful practices claimed in the lawsuit include Dell using a timekeeping system — called Kronos — that does not record all hours worked by call center employees, which means they are not paid for their total time.

The complaint also alleges that if a sales representative only takes a 30- to 45-minute lunch break, one hour of pay is automatically deducted.

“Dell is aware” of the issue, according to the complaint, “but it has failed to correct the timekeeping problem with Kronos.”

Dude, don't get a Dell. It will only encourage bad behavior. It's our choice if we want to spend our hard earned dollars at a company that shafts it's workers this way. Roseburg will be devastated by Dell's actions. It should matter to us. We could be next.