Microsoft yields to permatemps

| Wed Jan. 17, 2001 4:00 AM EST

A recent settlement between Microsoft and a group of the company's employees may signify an important change in the nature of employment in the hi-tech sector. Microsoft is forking over $97 million to its "permatemps" -- temporary workers who had stayed with the company for months or years -- and has accepted that the workers were entitled to some of the same benefits as permanent employees, reports IN THESE TIMES.

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1/10 - Turkish prison massacre Supporters of the permatemps say the case proves that tech companies will have a harder time depriving employees of pay and benefits in the future. Since the case first went to court, for instance, Microsoft has already added 3,000 temp workers to its permanent payrolls.

This permatemp case comes amid a growing push to increase the rights of hi-tech workers. A group of Amazon.com employees are currently trying to form a union in a case that's seen as a bellwether for the industry.

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