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Executing a Mass Departmental Exodus in the Workplace?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.

Businesses 1190

rerunn asks: "The recent story about the consultants from JBOSS walking out couldn't have had better timing. I'll save the drama and cut to the scenario: You and a few close co-workers make up the core grunts of 'the department'. The company relies heavily on your department for many services, some of which, other departments cannot provide. You like your job, it provides great satisfaction. Suddenly, the company realizes its in deep financial shit, and starts making cut backs. This impacts the department. You suddenly find yourself working 50-60 hour weeks, put on call with no compensation, given unreasonable amounts of work and generally treated like dirt. You get the feeling that the company is just going to take advantage of you no matter how and what happens. You get together with the rest of the department for a 'fsck this company' meeting and decide to walk out. Have you ever done this?? (We are so close!) What was the outcome?"

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Result (5, Funny)

Robert Hayden (58313) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170496)

Six months of unemployment...

Re:Result (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170545)

Unlikely. Collecting unemployment usually requires leaving work through no fault of your own. Walking off just to prove a point or to be pissy won't cut it.

Re:Result (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170577)

I think he meant you will BE UNEMPLOYED, as opposed to collecting unemployment, although thats a plus

Re:Result (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170653)

I bet a lot more. Would you trust in an employee that have no problem on leaving you in the dust when you more need him?

as good as it sound.... (5, Insightful)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170498)

On a comedy special years ago, Bill Cosby quoted parents telling kids, "I brought you into this world, I can take you out, and I can make another one that looks just like you."

With today's job market I'm afraid the company will just replace you with people that are hungry for work.

I could be wrong, but I've always lived by the mantra "better safe, than sorry."


Re:as good as it sound.... (3, Insightful)

bigox (158657) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170533)

This is a good point. Unless your work is very specialized, you are easily replaced. And, you would be replaced with cheaper labor too. On top of that, you will most likely take a pay cut in your next job--that is if you even get another one. Just a couple of things to keep in mind.

Re:as good as it sound.... (3, Insightful)

botzi (673768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170584)

With today's job market I'm afraid the company will just replace you with people that are hungry for work.

Which isn't always so obvious.
The fact that the job market is low, and there's a bunch of unemployed specialists, doesn't meen that there'is a bunch of *good*, hard-working, unemployed specialists.
And if the staff that quits is a good one, the replacement will be difficult(if not impossible) to do.

Anyway, yes a company may replace _anybody_ within a week or so, but in the futur it may loose a lot... an awful lot.;o))

Re:as good as it sound.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170637)

Replacing 50-60 walkouts isn't that easy!
You need to train them? Leanring curves?
Yes you can replace them but it would take months.
The company would end up losing more money in just the costs to bring the new group up to speed...

FP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170499)

FP [goatse.cx]

fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170502)

hail hitler

hail klerck

I would do it (1)

tuluvas (679950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170504)

I would walk out with out a second thought, if you and your co workers where intelligent enough to get a job like that in the first place, you can get another one that does not treat you like shit.

Re:I would do it (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170603)

The only times I have seen anything close to this (it has been YEARS, actually, almost decades), there was always some little snott that blabbed the plan OR everybody nodded and agreed then some did not walk.

Also, getting fired in many places gets you 0 unemployment benefits, so do most forms of resignation.


First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170506)

Suck it down, tr0llz!

job market (-1, Redundant)

HeyYou82 (519576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170507)

well, all i can think of is all the people out there right now without jobs, who would kill for one right now.

make sure you REALLY want to do a walk out. what if they fire you?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170508)

FP! ts.

No, really... (5, Insightful)

SanGrail (472847) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170510)

Sounds great.

Why face the job market alone when you can face it with all your co-workers?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170513)

fp, fck them all

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170515)


Please (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170517)

Must there be profanity on the front page? That is offensive in the extreme, and also unprofessional. Words like that should not be used, when perfectly acceptable alternatives (such as "the company discovered in was in dire straits financially") would both be more eloquent and professional?

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170585)

Lighten up...

Re:Please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170586)

Eh, Fuck you.

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170627)

Gotta agree with the man.. whats the point?! Cursing like that is not nessesary.

And to you sir, that kind of language only serves to make you sound unintellignet. Congrats on using the most over used and abused 4-letter word out there. Heck who even knows what it means any more. If you really wanted to insult someone you could sit down and write out a logical argment that makes sense that can not be reputed.... just like I did for you. Grow up...


crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170599)

goddamn, i said goddamn!

Re:Please (1)

redGiraffe (189625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170620)

This belongs in the wrap-your-women-in-cloth bin.

Re:Please (0, Insightful)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170629)

yeah, next time change it to sh1t since it's more professional.

shouldn't slashdot be one of the last places to visit if you're easily offended?

Hmm (1)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170639)

You are so reading the wrong website if you want to avoid profanity.

In the same vein, this is so the wrong website to be asking for "professionalism."


Chacham? is that you? (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170646)

oh shut up chacham! ;)

(or should I say "please close your mouth, chacham!")

Re:Please (1)

Meshsmooth (647978) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170649)

I have been in this situation and only ofencive analogies will do. Ando the analogies we used...... For our situation more offensive the analogies were, close they were describing how we felt we were being treated.

Mothership (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170519)

Mothership suX0rs

In this economy... (5, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170521)

...if you don't have a place to go, suck it up, find another job, THEN quit. You're crazy to walk out on your only opportunity these days.

Just about every day... (-1, Offtopic)

JohnnySkidmarks (607274) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170522)

Except I'm always the only one saying it.

The closest I ever came... (5, Funny)

aborchers (471342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170523)

Was getting together with a guy from the cold line (I was a dishwasher) and walking out of a Mexican restaurant after telling the manager we were going in search of the perfect taco...

Re:The closest I ever came... (5, Funny)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170636)

Was getting together with a guy from the cold line (I was a dishwasher) and walking out of a Mexican restaurant after telling the manager we were going in search of the perfect taco...

And lo and behold! you found the commander on slashdot!

What's really important for you? (5, Insightful)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170524)

If the company really is in 'deep financial shit' then your action could be the final straw. And if you're as important as you say you are then your action will have a severe impact on the company at this difficult time. I guess you need to ask yourself what you feel is more important: the well-being of the company (and your source of employment) or your personal pride? Perhaps you ought to think about how lucky you are to even HAVE a job right now.

Re:What's really important for you? (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170602)

Perhaps you ought to think about how lucky you are to even HAVE a job right now

It's precisely that attitude that perpetuates the perception a lot of bosses (and governments, for that matter) have that it's OK to treat staff as consumables.

If you act like a doormat, don't be too surprised when someone wipes his boots on you.

Re:What's really important for you? (1)

aallan (68633) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170635)

I guess you need to ask yourself what you feel is more important: the well-being of the company (and your source of employment) or your personal pride?

Personal pride, if it was even a matter of pride, but it isn't, its self-respect. My self-respect is worth alot more to me than my lousy pay cheque.


shore did (1)

_Smacndeez_ (217293) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170527)

Same scenerio, but slightly different when I was about 17 at the shop I worked at. But it ended up that we all were outof work :(

The IS version of Johnny Paycheck (5, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170528)

You'd better have something lined up to move into, because you will have certainly burned bridges at your current employer. Plus, how will you spin this situation to prospective employers during the interview process?

Q: So, why did you leave your last position?

A: Things got rough, they treated us like dirt, I left.

This will raise doubts in the mind of the interviewer as to whether you're a person who can help an organization weather tough times...

Re:The IS version of Johnny Paycheck (5, Insightful)

ashultz (141393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170581)

Well, you're welcome to play it safe that way, carefully moving from exploiting company to exploiting company.

Clearly you should spin it a little better than that sentence, but if a company looks at you and thinks "hm, when we want him to bend over and take it, he's not going to" and the doesn't give you a job... did you want to work for them?


Re:The IS version of Johnny Paycheck (3, Interesting)

coldcity (657243) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170595)

That's not an interview I would accept a job offer from anyway - remember I just stormed out because I was sick of being treated like shit, not because I wanted to be someone else's bitch.

Something similar happened to me once. I explained to my next employer that if put in the same position again, I would simply leave again.

They were cool, it was all good.

Don't have a walkout party, have a resume party! (4, Insightful)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170617)

Good point TopShelf.

Combined with other people's comments that "You are replaceable"
You and your team might as well critique each other's resumes and start applying for jobs.

If you are walking out, its because you don't want to come back- not because you want them to treat you with respect. If you want to be treated with respect, ASK that you be treated with respect. If the response is a lot of Management BS (hopeful language but nothing concrete) you know that they aren't going to do anything about it. So send those resumes, line up a better jorb (homestar runner typo!) and then LEAVE.

No, but... (3, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170529)

We haven't done that, yet, but our concern right now is like everyone else: unemployment. A few of us are thinking of putting together a business plan to start a new company, but that's going nowhere fast. We don't yet have that one great, unique, amazing software idea to start a company. So we're all stuck waiting it out until the market's better and we can move on or we finally come up with that great idea.

Danger! Social Justice Alert! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170530)

Will Robinson - my hooks are flailing wildly! Dangerous union-like activity reported! Shall I deploy anti socialism defences and the boss-pay rises?

Europa Endlos

revenge is a dish best served cold (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170531)

I heard that somewhere.
I wouldn't do anything now, because the market sucks. But when you have another job lined up, hot poker up the butt to em.

The real solution... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170532)

Is to collectively refuse to do any work, until you get fired or laid off.

You can't collect unemployment when you quit, you know.

Re:The real solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170641)

you can if you can prove reasonable circumstances for leaving

Re:The real solution... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170647)

That's called insubordination, and you will not get unemployment if you are fired for cause... (insubordination).

I would recommend that they don't work so hard. Also, start looking for another job. If you want to improve your situation, have a collective barngaining session with the manager of your devision. If it isn't fruitful move up the chain.

Some questions and observations... (5, Insightful)

warmcat (3545) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170536)

...that might help you make up your mind.

Would you rather be out on your own looking for another job than continuing to turn up every day and take what is being dished out? Consider that despite the angry words of your colleagues, they may not step up when the crucial moment comes, and you alone may be the one leaving. Is that still okay?

Do you have savings to take 6 months with no income, or maybe shares you can sell to cover that period... because if you leave, it will be like leaving a relationship, you will be depressed, think and talk of nothing else for months, boring your friends and family until you get over it.

Is there any upward future for you in the company, ie, is continuing to work there acting as an investment for you that may pay off at a later time? If there is some hope of a career path, given how you are treated by people at that level, is that somewhere you want to be? Given the trajectory of the company, is there going to be a later time for this to pay off in?

Can you get out without dropping innocent colleagues in the shit?

Just be careful about your co-workers (5, Insightful)

AnotherSteve (447030) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170537)

That kind of thing is cool to talk about, but it is like starting a union. If someone in the department doesn't walk out, then you're out of work and you've handed them a promotion. So stick together. Everyone should hand in their resignation at the same time. Better impact that way, anyhow.

Walking out together? (2, Insightful)

Violet Null (452694) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170539)

Are you planning on walking out with your coworkers and forming a company of your own? Because, if you're not, there's no point in doing it in unison. Sure, you might wake someone at the company up, but more than likely they won't care, and even if they did, it's too late for you. Meanwhile, you're left holding the bag, as it were, with no job.

If the situation is that bad, you should do the normal route: look for a job while keeping yours. If/when you find another job, you quit. Your coworkers can all do the same. Things'll work out much better if you only bail when you have a parachute, and, no matter how bad your job is, it's better than no job at all.

Fire them all? Seriously? (1)

dewboy (22280) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170541)

If the company was in that bad of a position, do you think that they'd want to go through the process of firing their best workers, rehiring equally skilled workers, and then going through the time-consuming process of retraining them. The entire retraining time is money lost, and the company could go under.

Haven't done this myself but ... (3, Interesting)

OMG (669971) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170544)

A close friend of mine worked for a local ISP. The ISP got bought by a bigger company. The new management decided to replaces all unix mail-systems with MS Exchange.

The complete technical department from the "old" left the company within days.

Management will never learn ...

What's the outcome? (2, Insightful)

computerme (655703) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170546)

oh i don't know, say a million different outcomes for a million different people. most likely long bouts of unemployment. Just because you can program (or think you can) does not mean you can run a company. next stop: dose of reality.

Let me guess. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170547)

You work for EDS?

Re:Let me guess. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170648)

No he works for SCO!

Be careful... (5, Insightful)

mixy1plik (113553) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170548)

Back during the big ol' bubble of the late nineties, I worked with a development team that came up with everything that end-users interacted with. Back then, we were doing just as you described- endless hours, little or no compensation... but we all still believed in the dream that was "we'll be millionaires soon enough". Thinking back, we were all in a perfect position to leave and start something on our own.

NDAs and other such things in your contract might not let you break off "en masse". That is something to be careful of. Make sure you don't have contractual limitations or obligations that could prevent you from making a clean break. Using your collective knowledge and contacts, I think you all have a pretty good shot at making it on your own.

We did it 1 year ago! (4, Insightful)

md17 (68506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170549)

And there is no looking back. The pay sucks, but the freedom is priceless (atleast until all my credit cards are max'd out). I wouldn't go back if my life depended on it.

This smells like a lawsuit (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170550)

Such a coordinated effort smells of a lawsuit from the company against the organizer(s) and possibly participants.

Don't do it! (5, Insightful)

stevew (4845) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170551)

Look - if you are going to jump ship -GREAT! Only be a little smart and find another job before you jump.

I know it would give you great satisfaction to flip off the boss and walk as a group. Yet, the economic reality today says that is a really dumb idea. If you don't like your current position, at least have another place to land before you toss it.

Further, it is HIGHLY suggested that even though you don't like the place, that you don't burn bridges. What are the chances you are going to work with some of the managers/people above you in the future (answer from 25 years in the business - 100%) Leave gracefully and your career will do better in the long run.

Not the answer we want to hear, but... (1)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170557)

Given the current state of tech jobs (supply and demand), I think the company would laugh and hire a bunch more techies who would be more than willing to take your job. The way tech employees are treated is directly affected by the market. An employer will treat you as crappy as possible (ie, low pay, lots of overtime) because they can.

As much as I support capitalism, lets face it, the company doesn't exist to create happy employees. It exists to turn a profit. If keeping employees happy in order to keep them productive is necessary, the employer will do so. The problem, right now, is that a happy employee is an employed employee. It will get better (and then worse, and then better, and so on...)

Could be risky in this market, but . . . . (2, Interesting)

LazloToth (623604) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170558)

I do know of a group that pulled it off very nicely, and they - - as well as the former (university)employer were, and are, happy. The spinoff group was able to take on consulting jobs while, at the same time, selling their services back to the university. The university was happy because they no longer had to offer benefits, do payroll, etc. After more than two years, this arrangement is still working out for everyone involved. Sorry, I can't give names, but the university in question is a top-rated one in the southeast, and the IT group in question primarily provided web and data management services.

do it! walkout! (1)

havaloc (50551) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170560)

A long (10+ years) while ago, at my second job at a major fast food chain, we had this new manager who was a complete jerk. He had an abusive personality, and thought he was above us. So while he was in the walk in freezer, me and two other co-workers just left. What a rush! The next day I called work to see if we still had a job.

The other manager said, I see you are on the schedule, so see you at 5.

The results? The mean manager guy was nice to us and nothing bad happened. Work was much more reasonable and not so unpleasant. And note, this was at a fast food place, where people are easily replacable.

Walk outs (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170561)

1: Walk out of job.
2: "Burn bridges" on way out.
3: Rent Office Space [imdb.com] and watch several times.
4: Be happy and do what you enjoy without being a slave.

Just remember ... (5, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170562)

discarded Pizza boxes are an inexpensive source of Cheese.

Pinko commie (3, Funny)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170563)

What are you going to suggest next, labor unions? Do you think that you and your buddies are entitled to be treated like human beings?

If you were a real man, you'd volunteer to work 80 hour weeks and come up with a plan to replace all of your colleagues with contract developers from India and Romania.

Better yet!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170564)

Move country. TO one where you have EMPLOYEE RIGHTS.

We sort of did this (1)

zackbar (649913) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170567)

The company got bought and killed all our projects. Then they lied and said they weren't closing our office (the purchaser had another office 15 miles away.) 3 months later, they announced they were closing our office.

Pretty much our entire department quit, but we didn't decide to do it as a group. Everyone just found other jobs. The only ones left were a DBA workaholic and an immigrant woman who spent most of her time using AOL over the company internet.

Employers have the upper hand now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170568)

1) Bad economy
2) Surplus domestic Labor
3) Outsourcing
4) Guest workers

You're a commodity now, buddy.
PHB wins again.

Vote Bush !!!

Mo' Money Mo' Money (5, Interesting)

gato_mato (572107) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170569)

Had this happen not too long ago. Simple We walked out & formed our own company. The old employer realized that they could not stay afloat without us and contracted us do do the same job as before through our new company. The results - Limited work hours (read 40-50 hours/week instead of the insane bull of 70 to 80), More money (even after we pay taxes, FICA, etc.), our own company (we hold equal shares), and more contracts from other places that needed the same kind of service. The down side - we where living in VERY thin budget for ab out 3 months while it all got setup and settled down.


What? (1)

jhigh (657789) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170570)

given unreasonable amounts of work

Posting on Slashdot is work?

i did it (2, Funny)

greenalbatros (215035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170574)

now i read slashdot all day.

I suppose... (3, Insightful)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170575)

I suppose that it depends on whether you're walking out for good, or just as a work stoppage to show them you're important. I'll assume from the title, you're talking the former.

The problem with the latter is that if the company really is in trouble, you'll be putting the nails in its coffin.

In this job market, I would personally not be too excited about the prospect of a job hunt. I've got friends who have been actively looking for over 6 months - it's kinda rough.

Another thing to consider is that some might just decide to let you all walk, and feign some form of loyalty to the company... it's a win-win for them. If the company survives, their "loyalty" will be rewarded, and if it crashes and burns, they will be eligible to collect unemployment while those who quit will not.

(just some random thoughts)

A few cliches... (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170579)

The grass is always greener.... Everyone is expendable.

Know your Role and Shut your Mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170582)

In this life you are an Employer, employee or unemployed. Pick one and stop bitching

don't quit--slow down instead (3, Interesting)

Carbon Unit 549 (325547) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170583)

Why should you organize yourselves just to quit. A better solution is to quietly agree to stop working so hard. Perhaps you could slowly start leaving earlier and/or coming later until you get back to 40 hrs/week.

Just a thought..

Please Let Me Know When You Do This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170587)

I'll take your job. Most likely for less than they're paying you. I'm guessing I have more experience than you as well.

...and I know I have a better attitude.

Seriously, post here when you're done posing. My bags have been packed and ready to go for nearly five months. Airfare's pretty good right about now, so I'm psyched...

Cool, I need work (2, Interesting)

Loctavius (607834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170589)

Listen, with so many geeks like us out of work, some of us having been looking for 2 years now, walking out is a BAD thing. If you don't have another job lined up already, you might as well suck it up. if not, I am looking for work, as are others.

When will you ever learn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170590)

Most companies do not care about the workers. Anyone can be replaced. You work and get paid. If you do not like, deal with it or move on. Your group mentailty is interesting. All it will lead to is acting as a group and getting someone that really does not want to lose their income out of work.
Here is a better approach: Tell your employer that you are unhappy and will be forced to find other employment if the working conditions do not improve... Problem with this is, in todays economic situation someone will come and do your job better and cheaper. ;) Where do you work? I know 3 people hungry for a paycheck.

HR Perspectives (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170591)

My father is a 'big wig' in HR. We've seen many a strikes in the past.
Dealing with a union is nice, cause its a one-on-one arguement and you can get things moving that way.
But if everyone leaves in your situation, they need to know why you left, and who to talk to make things right.

Another point, during strikes, about 25% of the time, the people were simply replaced.
You are talking about a poor IT economy. Lots of unemployeed geeks that just want a job, even if its 50-60 hour weeks (as long as you can put food on the table).

The bottom line? Don't even think about doing this unless you are prepared not to come back.
You're better off just doing the work, and talking to management about compensation.

Are you unique (1)

barcodez (580516) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170594)

Does you team have skills that you can make money out of if you stick together. Does you team provide a unique service that any other company would want? I suggest you find out before leaving. If the answer is no then you just as good by yourself. If the company is in the shit you say it is they are unlikely to turn around and try and make your life better just to keep you. Good management would, but if the company is that fucked then I'm guessing the management sucks. I would alway recommend trying to find a job before quiting.

At least be smart about it (2, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170597)

What you're describing is a strike. If you do it right (start organizing the shop, aka unionize) your employer can't legally retaliate. Organizing for a union is also a pretty good way to get the Company's attention; most employers would much rather head off unionization by treating you well than have you organize and then force them to treat you well anyway.

Walking out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170598)

In the current job market where I live, and the state of my personal network, it would be economic suicide. I might be able to get a new position at Radio Shack but not much more.

However, at my current job, there are only three programmers. All of us are deeply dissatisfied. If we all left, as a group, or because we each decided Radio Shack and Circuit City beats what we are doing now, the company would be in a world of hurt.

Offering services as a group looks more businesslike than offering services solo. It gives potential customers a better feeling. And if it didn't work, we could go through night clerk training at 7-11 together!

Why help them? (1)

Fratz (630746) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170600)

Sounds to me like what you have in mind will do some of their cutbacks for them, starting with you... Just search for a better job and leave. If there are no better jobs, re-evaluate your strategy.

Check Your Contracts (2, Informative)

NousCS (180385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170605)

I just signed a contract saying that I wouldn't get together with others in the company and quit. If a bunch of you quit at once and the company can prove that you guys talked to each other about quiting it can do such things as, keep your last pay-check, sue you for damages, etc. I hope you didn't use your company email.

Maybe they should form a Union (2, Interesting)

KyleNicholson (629756) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170607)

I have never understood why so many IT employees are afraid of forming a Union. There are limitations, like not geting as big of a raise during boom times. But you have more control over overtime, and standard set raises even during slow times. Is it just my percention of IT people being anti union or is it me?

sometimes you just think you are important (2, Interesting)

gooofy (548515) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170608)

probably this doesn't apply in your case but i think it is a good idea to double-check wheter you and your departement are really that important for the company or if the company just wants you to think you are important to make you work even harder (some form of motivation).

i used to work for a small software company and me and a few of my coworkers (basically half of the development departement) decided that it was time to move on. it was really hard to quit as the boss made promises and tried to persuade each one of us to stay telling us how important we were. well, eventually we all quit and quickly found new jobs and afaik all of us are happy with the new jobs - and guess what? the old company still exists and is better than ever, even during this economic crisis.

so, at least from my point of view the bottom line here is: if you feel it is time to move on, move on. this is your life and you have to take care of it, not your company. and it is not that unlikely that both sides will profit from that.

This worked for us (5, Interesting)

UncleSocks (243734) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170610)


A number of years ago, I was working at a really innovative company. The technical chalenges were great etc... However, I and my fellow engineers began to realize that our immediate manager was a jerk (made false statements to management, political, concerned more with his image than the product).

One of us talked with the manager about these perceived shortcomings, and he reacted _very_ defensively and hostile. We then lost confidence we could improve his management style.

Two of our team quit and returned to their former company.

The rest of us were considering doing the same, but we liked the company. Instead of quitting, we went to our department head. We explained our problem, and why our peers had quit. We said, either the lying fellow goes or we go.

Two weeks later we had a new manager and were from then on as happy as clams.

This was a 'pre dot com boom' time, but I would do the same thing now if the problem reoccured. If your team is _really_ valuable, then the company will do what is necessary to keep you happy. If your team isn't that valuable, improve your skills and contribution until it is valuable.

Unionize (1)

funkman (13736) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170614)

Try to form a union or join a union. The mere threat of unionizing might help. (Or quicken the pace of outsourcing your whole dept)

Alternatives (5, Insightful)

Harik (4023) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170615)

Walk out each day after 8 hours. No compensation for overtime? No overtime. Something breaks while you're on (unpaid) call? Wait till monday morning to fix it. Let them know that you're going to treat the company as it treats you. If the entire department does that there's pretty much nothing they can do about it. They can't fire you for cause in that situation, the amount they'd have to pay in wrongful termination would be staggering.

Would you like to try to convince a judge and jury that these 'lazy' workers were fired because they refused to work unpaid overtime? Didn't think so.


Run *when* you can (2, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170616)

But don't go before getting another job.

Don't bother about people putting moral pressure on you, as I've seen in the postings before. That's quite unreasonable for two reasons.

First, if the company goes bankrupt, you'll need another job anyway, so the sooner you start looking, the better.

Second, it's not your responsability, but management's. You cannot be blamed for bringing the company to the point where it is now, so don't feel guilty about the consequences of your actions. Furthermore, somebody else fired you co-workers, and that should make you responsible? No.

There is another reasons why you might walk: it gives better job security to your current co-workers. The company will need them more than ever and will save a few bucks on your salary.

Good luck to you and the people in your company.

Yes, we just did this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170625)

A group of us at my company just did this. It has had its problems. I haven't gotten my last paycheck because, just as we all believed, the company couldn't survive without us. The second effect is that I am now emotionally and economically linked to a group of people who, while not the enemy, I am growing sick and tired of seeing every day.

The biggest regret I have is an accomplishment that I would never put on a resume or mention in a job interview: I put a dying company out of its misery by being part of a staged walkout. I mean who would walk to talk about that at your next job? "If the company is in trouble, I the man to kill it dead."

My advice: don't do it. The thing you are suppose to do is get your work done and go home at 5:00pm. If they can't handle this then you will be fired which, believe it or not, will make you feel better than walkout in lockstep.

Be selfish, but don't be vindictive (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170626)

Find another job. Then leave. Convince your colleagues to do the same.

Solidarity is all well and good, but at the end of the day, the only reason any of you are working for this company is to get a paycheck at the end of the day. You don't actually owe each other anything.

If the company suffers (as it will after a mass wlakout) it doesn't help you. It harms them, with ne benefit to you at all, and the loss of your financial stability. It doesn't matter if they learn their lesson. If they improve, you don;t work there any more.

Admittedly, the other people will suffer even more through having to do your job if you walk out, but that will be short term. They can also find a new job. You can help each other out if you want. They can stiull choose to leave.

100 people say "yeah sure" but only 3 will do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6170631)

Most people will say they will, but when it actually comes to put words into actions people get all selfish , think about mortgages kids commitments etc and don't do it.

what you learn about life is everyone is full of shit and you can count on that, not them

walkout (1)

cavedwler (99643) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170633)

I worked for a small ISP a few years ago and the same thing happend. They made everyone start working overtime and then sprang it on thurday (day before payday) that they were not going to be able to make payroll and that everyone would have to take a pay cut. Everyone went to lunch and stayed at the local coffee house for three hours at which point everyone was called and paged to let everyone know that they had "found the money to make payroll".

Been there... (1)

TallEmu (646970) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170634)

... we were a three-person team in a department that was soley responsible for several mission critical systems at a major company.

Short version.. they stuffed us around with our contract, (not seriously, just a power-play) and after many, many discussions we walked out.
They called us at the golf course a few hours later, and we were back at work the next day. We worked for them for another few years and all was well. Our company expanded and contracted in synch. with the dot com boom (including the ultimate implosion and death phase sadly).

Would I walk out in todays economy? Nope. I'll still walk away from bad business, but I won't walk out on a secure contract unless I have another alternative.

Legal Obstacles (1)

rimberg (133307) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170642)

The biggest obstacle to you walking out and forming a company with your colleges would be the terms of your contract. Every employee contract I have ever seen contains a clause that states you are not allowed to temp other employs to leave and join you at a new job. Mass resignation is legal, its just a problem if you all want to set up a new firm doing what ever it was you where doing before. Normally you need to wait about six months before you could form the company, you could not directly target customers you where introduced to while at your previous company and you would be best advised to seek legal conceal about the best way to do it.
Also depends a lot on where you are in the world.
Be aware of the risks of starting a company in your spare time [garage.com]

The employer/employee relationship (1)

defile (1059) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170643)

Too many employer/employee relationships lack trust. It probably can't be helped if you work in a huge company that your direct superior has no interest in you.

I don't get it. Why would you base your livelihood on people you wouldn't trust to take care of a pet, or your car, or to keep a secret? When you work for strangers, or even people who hate you, you're bound to come into situations where you have 60+ hour work weeks, feel unappreciated, and believe that your only choice is an all-or-nothing walk-out.

Maybe I'm just being naive, but I hope my employees trust me enough to think I'm giving them a fair deal (and I hope they told me the truth when I hired them under such arrangements), and if they don't like it, I also hope that they'll come talk to me about it.

I'm not saying that you're being unreasonable, perhaps your employers are genuine assholes. I just can't fathom a relationship getting to such a point. In prior jobs, the second something went wrong and looked as if it was not going to be reconciled, I would quit immediately.

Good luck.

Can I have you job...since I don't have one? (1)

as400tek (609382) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170644)

Nuff Said. Hey suck it up and get back to work! Stupid!

Better Idea (1)

laigle (614390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170654)

Given this is on Slashdot I'm guessing we're talking IT departments here. So instead of walking out, take advantage of your position. Use the computers to set up a website that advertises your department staff to other companies. Then, once you've lined up jobs at competitors, you can leave en masse. Don't forget that the best form of revenge before leaving is always to do a mass install of Kazaa on the whole corporate net and fill up the computers with Metallica and Dr Dre rips, then send an anonymous complaint to the RIAA.

They call it a union... (1)

starcraftsicko (647070) | more than 11 years ago | (#6170655)

Look, I dont much care for unions, but if enough of you feel the way you do, you should form/join one. Of course doing so will probably be the last nail in the coffin for your company, but if you do form a union, at least you'll have certain legal rights.

If you just walk out, the company will just replace you. Sure, they'll be hurtin' in some areas for about a month, but then they'll hire some unemployed slashdotters for peanuts and get back to business. You'll make your point better if the s**t you throw at them is legally protected.

Whatever you do, make sure you can live with the consequences.

Notwithstanding the comments above, unions suck. Union dues, misuse of said dues for politics, being TOLD that you have to go on strike... blah!
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