You probably haven’t read about this before — and if you believe the myths and the legends, Apple’s Steve Jobs was a kind-hearted visionary, and Google’s Eric Schmidt has your NSA-covered back.
But neither of these companies is what they seem. They benefit from Silicon Valley tech-cred, just like people like Cory Booker benefit from MSNBC lib-cred — cred by association.
In fact, both Jobs and Schmidt have been involved in wage-fixing for years. We know this thanks to reporting by Mark Ames at PandoDaily. Now Ames is out with a followup, showing that what started with a small number of SV companies quickly spread to involve dozens, and affected the earnings of millions of tech workers.
What is “wage-fixing”? It’s like price-fixing. It’s technically illegal for companies to collude to hold prices artificially high; that’s called interfering with the “free market” and with buyers’ right to bargain with multiple vendors for lower prices. When companies do this, when they act like a “cartel,” they can be prosecuted, at least technically.
Wage-fixing is the same thing; it’s when companies in an industry agree to keep wages artificially low, to eliminate workers’ right to force employers to compete for their services.
Now Ames, with his followup report (my emphasis):
Revealed: Apple and Google’s wage-fixing cartel involved dozens more companies, over one million employees
“British medieval ordinances of Bristol cobblers in 1364 state, ‘Masters are forbidden to poach workers from other members of the craft.’”
— Orly Lobel,Talent Wants To Be Free
Back in January, I wrote about “The Techtopus” — an illegal agreement between seven tech giants, including Apple, Google, and Intel, to suppress wages for tens of thousands of tech employees. The agreement prompted a Department of Justice investigation, resulting in a settlement in which the companies agreed to curb their restricting hiring deals. The same companies were then hit with a civil suit by employees affected by the agreements.
This week, as the final summary judgement for the resulting class action suit looms, and several of the companies mentioned (Intuit, Pixar and Lucasfilm) scramble to settle out of court, Pando has obtained court documents (embedded below) which show shocking evidence of a much larger conspiracy, reaching far beyond Silicon Valley.
Confidential internal Google and Apple memos, buried within piles of court dockets and reviewed by PandoDaily, clearly show that what began as a secret cartel agreement between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt to illegally fix the labor market for hi-tech workers, expanded within a few years to include companies ranging from Dell, IBM, eBay and Microsoft, to Comcast, Clear Channel, Dreamworks, and London-based public relations behemoth WPP. All told, the combined workforces of the companies involved totals well over a million employees.
The documents mentioned above are embedded at the source, along with the history of this wage theft (Ames calls it “wage suppression”) agreement. Google’s participation, for example, starts back in 2005. Please do read. There’s so much more than I can lay out here. If there are millions of workers affected, there must be billions of dollars that were diverted from employees into corporate (and CEO) bottom lines. Which brings us back to … CEO Steve Jobs, and CEO Eric Schmidt.
Your bottom line — Steve Jobs is neither a saint, a god, nor a man worthy of worship. In my mind he’s not even worthy of simple respect, but I’ve been watching him for years.
And neither Eric Schmidt nor the google has anything like your interest at heart. Did they fight SOPA? Only because it would cost them money if it were enacted. If Schmidt were in the oil business, you’d have fracking wells in your yard and oil on your Bay Area pelicans. But he’s not, so you have Android and the NSA storing your clicks instead. But make no mistake — Schmidt has a billionaire’s heart, just like the rest of them.
These companies, and these men, need a serious rebranding. You can help. Got friends? Spread the word. Some things do need spreading around.
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