Thread regarding VMware Inc. layoffs

A lawyer represents 14 VMware employees laid off in Canada (Burlington)

Nearly 100 employees at VMware Canada are losing their jobs as the company closes its Burlington technical support office as part of worldwide layoffs across the firm.

A company spokesperson would not confirm the company move. But Edward Woods, a Hamilton lawyer representing 14 of the employees, says the workers were told Monday the operation on International Boulevard, near Appleby Line and Highway 403, was closing immediately.

The company let 98 onsite employees go, but 45 offsite people have the option of working from home or taking a package, he said.

"The employees of the centre walked in today and essentially they walked right back out. They had no idea this was going to happen today."

Company spokesperson Cindy Watson said, "We are unable to comment at this time."

One worker, who asked his name not be used because he was still in negotiations over severance, said he expected the news because the company had been struggling.

"I figured it was coming for awhile because of global cutbacks and stock prices going down," he said.

Woods said he was still awaiting details, but he believes employees were paid between $30,000 to a $200,000 and "it will be an undue hardship on a lot of them."

"To find similar work will be very difficult for them."

Former employee Tristan Bolton of Waterloo — who was laid off a year ago — says the Burlington operation opened about 10 years ago and had 250 people at its peak, but had been steadily downsizing over the past few years.

The operation in Burlington primarily deals in technical support for the company's cloud and virtualization software.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n
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after leaving vmware on my own terms i gave myself a raise and a better title with another organization, there are jobs out there, keep your head up, have confidence in the skills you have acquired over the years and better yourself, take it is a kick in the ass to find new opportunities.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-dlu

Yeah, Tristan had the whistle blown on him for not only having a conflicting side business, but leveraging his internal position as a TSE to fast-track his own cases from his consulting business through to engineering at the expense of other customers.

Also, to the person who left the derisive comment about having no idea how going from being "tech support" to a sysadmin: we did more than just "can you turn it off and on again?" We were the ones responsible for dealing with developers, escalation and product managers, and, often times, playing sysadmin for most of the incompetent boobs out there who don't know a DNS server from a waffle iron. That being said, many of the tenured people I knew were paid in and around 100K - find me a sysadmin job that's going to pay that.

Next, to the person who asked how this could be an undue hardship, let me pose to you a scenario (which, sadly for most, isn't hypothetical): You get a decent gig as a support engineer for a rapidly growing high-tech company; you're doing pretty well at your job, and the fact that you had the forethought to jump in on the ground floor combined with the experience and knowledge you've cultured over the years results in raises, promotions, and engagements such as presenting at VMworld. Things couldn't be better, right? Company's on the up and up, stocks are high, you're consistently scoring high on your performance reviews - you've essentially hit the jackpot when it comes to job security, in your mind. As such, you start getting a little more "free" with your money, so to speak. You get a nice house in a nice neighbourhood, and buy yourself a new car. All of these are well within your means - after all, you've been with this company for 5+ years, you're doing a great job and getting pats on the back all over the place, so why not reward yourself after all the hard work you've put (and will continue to put) in?

Then, one day, disaster strikes.

A larger corporate conglomerate swoops in and declares that they're buying your parent company - who, to date, has left you mostly to your own devices - and your stock tanks as a result of it. People panic, more stock gets dumped, calls get made, spreadsheets get updated - and you, one random Monday morning, find yourself without a job. Your options are limited, and you know for a fact that nobody is going to pay a ground-floor employee anywhere near what you were making at your old company, and your tenure has left you so deeply entrenched in a niche skill set that your odds are to either roll the dice and strike out on your own as a consultant, or take a significantly lower-paying job than what you had before.

What would you do?

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-ymy

My job was more than being a tech support "phone monkey". I am sure anyone else who I worked with who wasn't affected would agree with me.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-yev

Now a huge number will be competing against each other for lower paying sysadmin jobs

LOL you think system admin jobs will pay less than tech support phone monkey jobs?

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-vqn

Some took risks because their feelings of security working for a multi-billion dollar company. I know at least 3 people who moved to Burlington just to be closer to work within 2 years of their mass termination. Some invested so much time to have a deep technical knowledge that is now completely useless outside the scope of supporting specific VMware products. Now a huge number will be competing against each other for lower paying sysadmin jobs in which companies like the same are so actively advocating towards outsourcing. My advice to all the VMware guys is to learn to sell implement and support OpenStack if you think their behavior was unethical.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-slb

everyone posting "anonymous" has a lot to say.

I am Edward Woods, I am a PARALEGAL representing some of the employees. the "reporter" got it wrong and the article has been corrected.

feel free to report to the LSUC, as, when I read the article, I reported it myself.

here is their phone number Toll-free: 1-800-668-7380

on a "side" note. I was approached by the employees. not the other way around.

thank you.

Edward woods

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-owj

I heard a different story about Tristan Bolton that is sort of like that you would read from Silicon Valley...

Young guy works for VMware, quits, starts a business, and business employing a small handful of people who basically ran the company. His friends suggest he comes back, discloses that was the majority share holder of the company and after VMware stops back-filling attrition, prior to laying off an entire floor due to outsourcing, is terminated. Sucks to be part of the large group of specialists who will be looking for work.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-znv

Lot's of people saw this ship sinking over the years and jumped off before things turned this sour. I don't regret being one of those :)

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-igf

I'm not sure this guy is believable, and those 14 may be taken for a ride. It should be easy to cite documentation or even a website showing how to calculate severance. I have to believe that he is overestimating, or trying to drum up business.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-iwj

And this is why employees nowadays give no advanced warning to companies either as they quit.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-cyj

Some companies do give advance notice, especially in the case of a shutdown, employees are often told 3,6, 9 months in advance, and the carrot of their exit package is dangled in front of them to get appropriate performance up to the last day. In practice, this leads to a toxic/unhealthy environment that is just a slow and painful death.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-xdc

Some companies are required by law through the WARN act in the USA to notify employees of potential layoffs in certain circumstances. VMware Canada does not fall under that though because Canada.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-qim

Seriously, does any company ever give employees advanced notice of a layoff? I find it ridiculous that this was even included in this article. Corporate layoff is a normal function especially if the expected earnings have not been met.

No company holds a tea to announce layoffs, can you imagine "Oh yes by the way, please don’t let this affect your work or work attitude, but huh your all laid off. So please wait for negotiations of what type of package we can give you."

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-lvt

Tristan Bolton was always on his bluetooth headset taking business calls for his side gig. #butthurt

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-bme

This guy is not even a lawyer, and telling media he is. I should report this to the Law society

Edward Woods Paralegal Hamilton L8M 1A8 In Private Practice OCJ-SUM, WORK-COMP, SM-CLAIMS, PROP-TAX, SABS, HUM-RIGHTS, LAND-TEN, OTHER-TRIB

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-arm

"They had no idea this was going to happen today."

Then they don't read news. Fortune reported the potential for a RIF last week. Canadians...

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-lfh

Don't blame the player, blame the game. Tristan Bolton is a hero.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-uje

how could being "paid between $30,000 to a $200,000" be an undue hardship?!

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-wbo

"Former employee Tristan Bolton of Waterloo" - wasn't laid off, he had a nice consulting business on the side that was a conflict of interest. VMware warned him to shut it down multiple times before he was asked to resign.

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-xtm

I think it's a standard Canadian process to involve lawyers, just guessing

by | Post ID: @FD4YG2n-smc

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