back to article Self-driving car LIDAR stalwart Velodyne sued for sacking a third of its staff claiming coronavirus was the cause

A key maker of Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors for self-driving cars unlawfully terminated more than 140 of its employees to shift jobs offshore, a lawsuit claims. Velodyne Lidar fired more than 33 per cent of its staff working at its headquarters based in San Jose, USA, we're told. The layoffs came as a shock to …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Velodyne is not a big company, the government is promising a lot of financial support in the US but the bulk of the money is going to go to large companies who have a large staff of lawyers and accountants to chase the money, plus they will have a record of political contributions to generate high-level support.

    Small companies have lawyers and accountants too, but they are very busy running around in circles at the moment just trying to stay in afloat and will be at the bottom of the pile of applications for the financial support. If you are a small company then selling the company may be the only way to stay alive.

    Remember too that this is America, the Republicans have cut back on the California emission laws and electric vehicle rebates. The funds are all going to be applied to support large car/truck companies and the oil industry, so Velodyne are not going to see much new business after this mess is over.

    1. David Neil

      And that entitles them to shit on employees already limited rights?

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        It's America so this is normal - I agree that it's not a good thing to do but the only "rights" that an employee has are the rights to look for another job and, if they feel they need it, buy health insurance.

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Or rely on TrumpCare.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            TrumpCare? Isn't that where the patient is led round the back of the barn and shot with a captive bolt gun?

            1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
              Trollface

              They bother taking them round the back? Progress indeed.

  2. teamonster

    So they are outsourcing a lot of work overseas?

    I'm just going to get some popcorn and sit back and wait for the show to begin!

    There must be a lot of competent techs and engineers in India, but I've never worked for any firm in the US that bothered to find them. They ALWAYS found the lowest-bidder-knows-English-over-any-technical-skills group of lazy idiots. Look to Boeing and the sh*tshow that was their recent Starliner test flight for confirmation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The List

      You can add GE to that list of confirmed administration idiots.

      I have to deal with sensor input modules for current transmitters that use precision shunt resistors at 10 ohms when rule of thumb is 250 ohms. Designed and built in India. Latest generation with completely incompatible physical configuration? Same 10 ohm shunts.

    2. james_smith Silver badge

      I've been on big projects with offshore or outsourced teams and without exception the Indian ones have been appalling. All the Thai, Ukrainian, Indonesian and Romanian teams have been great though. It seems to be down to the Indian education and business cultures. In the former you learn by rote and using your initiative is discouraged. In the latter, getting the contract is all that matters - to the point of lying - and ability to deliver is not a consideration.

  3. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Cost of living

    The area the company is in has some of the highest cost of living figures in the US. If they were looking to save money, they could have relocated to an area with much lower costs for everything.

    The excuse that engineers WANT to live in that area so that's why that HAVE to be located there is manure. I'm an engineer and I don't want to be anywhere near the place. For 1/4 of the monthly cost of a 1 bedroom apartment, I am paying for my own 3 bedroom home with a 2-car workshop. (I have too much stuff to put the car in).

    I'll echo those that expect moving operations to India isn't going to be a bed of roses.

    1. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: Cost of living

      We live in San Jose so we can get canned from one job and not have to sell our house and move to San Jose, Mountain View or Cupertino to find the next job.

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    dislike taxes but

    I wonder if an outsourcery tax directly on boards and senior management of companies would help pay for the social costs of exporting jobs ? Things like unemployment. Not to mention the need to have realistic and enforced standards for hardware, so that random changes to standard sensors is discouraged. The recent plethora of different light bulb types as in sockets, not technology Oz is suffering from is an example, as well as ACs comment.

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