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Comment Re:What's the point here? (Score 1) 585

I recently worked for a 1000+ employee company that decided to downsize the workforce by 10% after having two years of falling profits and finally three consecutive quarters of having profits lower than their two direct competitors. Which is to say, no, apparently you don't do it only when profits are dropping below 0.

Comment Re:What's the point here? (Score 1) 585

No, layoffs don't just happen at the end of the line, it's become common for companies to engage in restructuring as soon as they see a downward trend in profits.

The whole idea of human *resources* shows that capital mainly sees labor as another asset comparable to others. That's why the ILO has continued to promote the idea that labor is not a commodity.

It's good to hear that there are some large companies that aren't doing this. Let's hope they keep at it.

Comment Re:What's the point here? (Score 1) 585

[Businesses] are every bit as interested in stability and security as their employees.

No, they generally are not. At least not in the same way. Businesses care for financial stability and security of themselves and thereby their shareholders; the general stability and security of their various stakeholders, including the employees, is of peripheral interest to them, because they primarily consider them a risk that is to be managed, as opposed to humans whose lives shouldn't be ruined. This is particularly exacerbated with huge companies employing thousands - an individual employee's stability and security is easily considered trivial for the company.

Comment Re:Not a one-way system (Score 1) 585

Not sure which part of Europe this refers to, but in my experience the European labor laws are geared primarily towards worker protection - companies engaging in layoffs are required to give workers advance notice in the time roughly proportional to their tenure at the company, but a worker who found a new job is not actually bound by the same rules and is instead allowed to just quit. Generally, workers care for their reputation so they then negotiate a reasonable transitional period with their former employer.

There is a bit of an intricate detail depending on the specific laws - sometimes the employer also has a bargaining chip by way of accrued vacation time - for example if it's July 1st and you haven't yet spent 50% of your yearly vacation time, the employer is allowed to send you off to vacation so they wouldn't have to pay it out in cash when you leave. This time can then be spent answering phone calls from coworkers scrambling to take over your duties, or you just cede another week of notice and then actually go spend that vacation time as vacation (or perhaps prepare for your new job).

Comment Re:Here is why Europe has no Silicon Valley (Score 1) 401

I am sure there is no lack of smart and highly educated people, but you can not have innovation without a high degree of freedom. Imagine running Facebook or Twitter under these kind of laws.

So, in your opinion, all relevant innovation in hi tech is related to social networks (that may in turn be vulnerable to defamation lawsuits)? What a dystopian view.

Comment NewsFox (Score 1) 132

This Firefox add-on continues to work just fine for me, and I'm practically unaffected if someone tries to kill it. It has three panes so it looks like a mail client, which is a simple and straightforward way of navigating and reading the bulk of RSS content.

Comment Re:It's about time. (Score 1) 731

Actually, no. All debit transactions made through the typical POS systems in Europe are entirely reversible within something like a day or so. So the procedure is the same - you notice a problem, call your bank, scream a little bit, and they undo the damage. The only way you have a real problem is if someone steals your card and your PIN and manages to make an ATM withdrawal up to the maximum daily limit (which can be configurable beforehand, I have it at something like 700 EUR) before you notice and do the screaming routine to get your card locked out of the system.

Everybody needs a little love sometime; stop hacking and fall in love!