Posted by Anne Landman on December 18, 2010

TelephoneOn November 30, employees at the world's fourth biggest drugmaker, Sanofi-Aventis, got an email from the company wishing them a happy Thanksgiving. It instructed them to check their email again starting at 5:00 AM on Tuesday, December 2. A sales representative who wishes to remain anonymous says she and her co-workers each got one of the two mass emails the company sent out on Tuesday morning. Both emails contained an 800-number, a code and a time to call, at either 8:00 or 8:30 AM that day. The employees who were instructed to call at the earlier time got an automated recording telling them that they were going to keep their jobs, but 1,700 employees who were told to call in at 8:30 AM got a voice telling them that they were laid off and should quit working immediately. The anonymous worker who got laid off said a representative from a third-party company hired by Sanofi-Aventis came by almost immediately after the call to repossess the company car she had been driving. She had sold her personal car just three months earlier because her manager had told her the company was in good financial shape.

Comments

I've never been laid off, but I might actually prefer this than showing up for work only to be herded into a conference room with my coworkers and given a lame speech that I probably wouldn't remember sans the pink slip. It's cowardly not to do it face to face, just saying it might save face for a few employees.

One thing the govt. could do to help stem the tide that's taking this country down is to make mass firings illegal. In the UK (where folks have free medical care and drugs cost their govt. and their people less than our govt. and our people pay for them under our health and insurance programs) someone made 'redundant' is given a decent payoff to 'retire' early. The workers count for more than dirt under the feet of the ruling classes. This drug company and all other companies over a certain size should shoulder some of the weight of the current financial crisis. They still take their bonuses and make big profits, don't they? Then let them help the country that gave them the opportunity to gain great wealth. A little more socialism and a lot less corporate greed would be a good thing in America.