Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Makers and Takers

Here is the kind of situation Mitt Romney could vote for:
...the United States Department of Labor just caught EFI red-handed in an investigation, which found that "about eight employees" were flown in from India to work 120-hour weeks for $1.21 per hour. EFI apparently thought it was okay to pay the employees the same wages they'd be paid in India (in Indian rupees). Here's the unbelievably crazy sounding quote EFI gave to NBC's Bay Area affiliate: "We unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards."
"We didn't know an American company was supposed to follow the law!"

In their defense, I imagine that is a common refrain on the rare occasions they are busted.

The company earned $109 million last year and awarded CEO Guy Gecht with a pay package valued at nearly $6 million, including more than $1.2 million in salary and bonuses.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]


kingweasil said...

"Electronics for Imaging is paying more than $40,000 in back wages and damages to the eight Indian workers and a $3,520 fine"...I'm sure that'll teach em!

Uncle Smokes said...

Guy Gecht should get a pay package valued at 6 million rupees. That's $97,767.64, which is more than I'll see this year, and I live fine. Jesus, what does anyone need with $6,000,000?

Montag said...

Hmm. Something's odd here--$40K in back wages, even at minimum wage and overtime, is only about four weeks' wages for eight people.

The DoL caught this abuse in just four weeks? I'm betting these guys didn't even get paid for their overtime hours, let alone at overtime pay.

But, hell, let this be a warning to all those middle-class people out there--no matter who's in charge of government, what happened to these unsuspecting Indians is the future of this country. The CEO gets $6 million, and the company pays a $3K fine and the workers get almost nothing.

Greed will kill us just as surely as will the plague.

Raoul Paste said...

Numerous Republicans think we should eliminate minimum wage laws. This is a preview of what would follow.

Anonymous said...

CEO Guy Gecht gets 5.5% of the corporate gross?


Anonymous said...

And I'm sure Joni Ernst would wholeheartedly approve...that's really cutting out the fat...right?

Anonymous said...

WH ... Ignorance Is No Excuse*?
(*WHIINE): typical 1% company response.

Katy Anders said...

It is all about lowering unemployment, really.

I mean, think about it: You can pay one worker $8 an hour... or you can pay 16 workers 50 cents an hour.

That's just good financial sense.

Anonymous said...

While tech companies bitch about how they need moremoremore H1-B visas to bring "valuable and rare-skilled" IT talent into the US, the reality is crap like this, bringing in sweatshop labor to do routine tasks instead of hiring Americans. In this case they didn't even bother with the visas.

And of course the comments are filled with teatards blaming Obama, "Obola, "Hitlery", Marxism and leftists -- as if the RMoney administration would have stomped out such heinous practices.

Anonymous said...

Routine workstation setup temp work in Silicon Valley would be maybe $20-25 an hour, so they paid these guys about 1/20th the going rate.
The right punishment would be to slash CEO Guy Hecht's paycheck to 1/20th of what it was before.

pansypoo said...

sounds like serfs to me. and french aristocracy circa 1788.

Graeme said...

I trust some intrepid reporter will look into their housing situation as well. Given that rate of pay, no doubt they are warehoused in some corner of an unoccupied building owned by EFI. And EFI, in the time-honored tradition, then takes 50% of that $1.21/hr wage to cover the cost of accommodation. Food? You want food? I imagine the company took their passports from them when they arrived. SOP for migrant workers throughout the world. (Check John Bowe's book on modern slavery. Check a number of Human Rights Watch reports on the construction industry in the middle east)

And then they claim they had no idea that slavery was against the law. To cement the complicity, the government fines them a few thousand bucks, nudging and winking at the 'job creators' as they say 'Tut tut, how could you?' Now there's an incentive to continue the practice.