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May 22, 2006

When it comes to employee relations, Microsoft can’t win for losing

Posted by David Hunter at 8:39 PM ET.

Last week Microsoft management won praise from regular employees for a variety of workplace changes. Now they turn around and temporarily lay off a number of the ubiquitous Microsoft contract workers as a cost saving measure. Allison Linn of the AP – Microsoft Tells About 1,000 Technology Contract Workers to Take Seven Days Off Without Pay:

Microsoft Corp. has told about 1,000 technology contract workers to take seven days off the job, without Microsoft pay, in a cost-saving move that came as the company unveiled a series of new perks for its internal staff.

Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said Monday that Microsoft told vendors who supply the contractors that about 1,000 workers globally would not be needed this week. The vendors, whose workers do software development for Microsoft, also were told to schedule two other days off, Gellos said.

Gellos said this was one of the first times that Microsoft has scheduled a short period of time off for its contractors. He said the company made the decision because it was running over budget in some areas as it headed toward the end of its fiscal year on June 30.

He stressed that the contractors’ work was being delayed, not canceled.

I wonder which Microsoft products are so far ahead of schedule that they can afford a slip? I realize that contract workers aren’t “real” Microsoft employees, but they perform a variety of important work and I guess I’m a little puzzled how seven days of the compensation of 1,000 of them is anything other than noise in the Microsoft balance sheet.

Filed under Employee Retention, General Business, Microsoft

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