March 12, 2024 at 3:41 am

Company Threatens To Fire Workers Or Cut Their Pay Significantly, But Management Was Getting Raises. So They Banded Together And Ruined It Forever.

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/@arlington_research

I’ve always wanted to take part in a walkout, but I never had the opportunity…

It sounds exciting though, doesn’t it?

Stickin’ it to The Man and letting them know you’re not gonna take it anymore…hell yeah!

Let’s all live vicariously through this Reddit user who was nice enough to share their story.

Fire us or cut our pay? Enjoy a mass walkout.

“Back in the early 2000s, I worked for a tech company that offered tech support, on-site support and training to organisations who either didn’t want specialised IT staff, or could benefit from outsourcing.

The company consisted of the three directors, a Sales department, Finance/HR department, and Tech department. Tech was further split, with a senior Manager, 4 team managers, and each team having 2 section managers.

For call-centre support (where I worked) we had 2 team leaders, 2 senior engineers, 2 “normal” engineers and 2 juniors. I was a standard engineer, earning 22k for a job that was worth at least 5k more outside of the low price area we all lived in.

They were stuck…

2006, and I’m still stuck in this job, on the same pay. Conditions are worse than before, with no overtime, no flexitime, no financial compensation for industry qualifications, shortened breaks and no pay rise since I started.

To make matters worse, they sold part of the land that the office was on to a developer, and on-site car parking was now for management only. We had to either pay to use the nearby council car park, or risk parking on the street. Morale was low, but despite bad pay it was still good for the area we lived in.

One Friday in July (think it was the 21st) one of the senior engineers finds a document, that he shares around the private chat app. It’s a restructuring plan that the board voted in last week.

The company tried to hide this from workers.

Apparently, this had to be made available for the company for 3 months before any changes to terms and conditions could be made, so the board gave it a generic filename and tried to bury it in the large staff shared area of the network.

One of the directors was selling his shares and moving on, having been headhunted by a large recruitment firm in a nearby city. The two remaining directors had managed to buy most of her shares with a small quantity going outside the company.

This was the company response.

Most of the document was a typical downsize/restructure package with a twist. A few team mergers, staff reductions and pay cuts spun as if to say that they needed to maximise their profits to put the lost money back into the company.

In October, a new contract would be released for all to sign, and was generic. In November, the restructure would be announced, and by January 1st, the new structure would be in place. The directors noted that the new contract needed to include clauses for non-competition and for soliciting customers, as these didn’t exist except for the sales staff.

They were getting screwed over again.

It also mapped current positions to their new ones, and what the new salary would be. I would be down by £5000 a year, but the twist was that anyone with the word “manager” in their title would have their pay increased drastically – the team managers pay jumped from 52k to 65k for example.

By the end of the day, everyone under the rank of team leader had seen this document and was not happy.

Over the weekend, I got a text message from one of the senior engineers inviting me to a BBQ at his house. When I got there, most of the tech staff was there, and during the afternoon we formulated a battle plan.

Our Revenge.

Monday 24th July, 8 AM.

It was quittin’ time!

26 people in the Tech team arrived for work as normal, each with a letter for the senior manager giving their 1 month notice, and all quoting the clause in their contract that states that members of the technical team with access to confidential company information must be off site and on “gardening leave” the same day as they hand in their notice. No exceptions will be given.

Gardening Leave is a term used to say that we still work for the company, have handed in our notice to quit, but can’t remain on site or using company resources so must wait out the remainder of the notice at home. We can’t start a new job within that period.

The net effect was that at 9:30AM, the director realised that his entire tech staff had quit and marched to the office floor and started harrassing one of the seniors. The senior simply stood, took off his ID badge and swipe card, handed it to the director and told him “I’ve already quit. This is me now sticking to my contract”.

On cue, most of the staff followed, with 1 member staying until lunchtime. From what I’ve been told, directors, senior managers, anyone they could get hold of were on the phones attempting to fix issues.

The Unsolved Open queue went from around 35 to nearly 100 by lunchtime, and naturally the blame was left firmly at the door of those who quit. We were even bad-mouthed to customers.

The day after our notice period expired, the Senior engineer welcomed 25 new staff to his new company, and had already taken ten large contracts from the place we used to work for.

We all had better pay (not much, but it was better than losing pay) and much better conditions, with an actual career track rather than the whim of the managers.

It didn’t end well for the company…

The old company tried to keep afloat for a year, but were losing money on every contract and couldn’t afford to employ skilled or experienced people.

They closed down in June of 2007, with the owners having to sell personal assets to pay debts, and the 2 remaining directors declaring personal bankruptcy too.

I left the new company in 2010 as the market had changed and more companies were hiring staff than outsourcing so contracts were harder to find and I also had some minor medical issues that meant I needed to be near home.

New company is still going strong though, having leant more towards web design and development than anything else these days.”

Here’s how people reacted on Reddit.

This reader asked a good question…

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual shared their thoughts.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person talked about organizing…

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another person talked about where they work…

Source: Reddit/AITA

I don’t think they’ll make that mistake again.

What a story!

If you liked this post, check out this story about an employee who got revenge on a co-worker who kept grading their work suspiciously low.