French Yahoo Employees Strike to Protest Layoffs

Leave it to the French to have the couilles to stand up to Carol Bartz

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 2:45 PM PDT
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French Yahoo Employees Strike to Protest Layoffs

Yahoo

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is getting a taste of French labor politics medicine as employees facing layoffs walk out on strike.

An engineering office that Yahoo opened just last year in Echirolles, a suburb of Grenoble, France, has gone on walkabout to protest the office's closure.

A total of 78 employees, who were generating on average more than €1 million a year each toward's Yahoo's revenue stream, struck today. The office represents over a third of Yahoo's workforce in France.

Since taking the reigns as CEO, Carol Bartz has managed to triple the company's profits even as revenue was down 12 percent -- largely thanks to thousands of layoffs, including 40 in france earlier this year.

Yahoo said that the move was to consolidate research and development efforts, but the workers say that in reality, it intends to simply move the jobs somewhere cheaper.

That the layoff announcement, and the strike, comes so close to the holidays means it's a double-dose of bad publicity for the Sunnyvale-based Yahoo, both in France and here in Silicon Valley.

Employees even produced a video slamming Yahoo, intercutting news of the office's opening with footage from a French-language Yahoo commercial with news of the closure and layoffs.

 

Jackson West dreams of a day in which Valley techies get their tetes out of their culs and realize that strikes are a perfectly sound negotiating strategy -- especially if you're going to lose your job anyway.

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