Things may be getting worse over at HTC than we originally thought. Not too long ago, they shared in an earnings call that they were able to slash their R&D overhead costs by a great deal. What was strange about this was that there were not layoffs to bring this about. Today's report sheds more light on the subject. Apparently, HTC made the tough choice of eliminating over-time pay for over a thousand R&D engineers instead of having mass layoffs.
Of course, this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you saved a bunch of people's jobs. On the other hand, they have been working 12 hour days but only getting paid for 8 hours. No matter how loyal someone is to a company, eventually that will take its toll on morale. This all came to light because of precisely that reason. According to the report, one of HTC's engineers sent an angry letter to the CEO of the company, Peter Chou. In the letter, he shares his frustration. Here's a quote from the source of this news with a paraphrase included,
We understand that things are tough for HTC, but if they start to lose their engineers, then things will only get worse. What do you guys think? Can HTC turn things around, or is it a sinking ship?“… requiring more than a thousand engineers to work 12 hour days according to “responsibility system” without any overtime compensation, for more than a year… which means 1000+ hours of uncompensated overtime per person per year – is extremely unreasonable…”
Well, my Google Chinese was off somewhat.
In comments Liaw Kim Poh •says it wasn’t 1000 guys, it was just 1 guy. But…. he asked … how the fff…. long would we have to work these 12hr shifts without overtime (talking about 5000 engineers who had to do that)
And, frankly, I’m not sure which is better. 1K guys speaking out, or 5K sending a representative…
HTC says it complied with all the Taiwan’s labor laws.