giovedì 21 maggio 2009

Accent S.p.A Employees “Open Letter” to the Board of Directors

Dear Board Members,

we are writing to you regarding the redundancies announced by the Accent’s management. More than two months has passed since the notification of redundancies in which little or no "significant"
dialogue has been had with Accent’s management on the matter.

It is for this reason that we find ourselves forced to contact you directly on this matter and in doing so we hope to be able to have an open and fruitful dialogue, on the company’s present condition and the restructuring process, as we had in the first redundancies announced two years ago.

It appears clear to the employees that Accent’s business model, not only from the geographical point of view, but also from the design component, has been put in place to obtain a company whose profit is derived principally from the sales of silicon which in itself is not a negative thing were it not to the detriment of the "design and implementation" employees. Apart from a handful of architects it appears that the major part of the designers work will be “contracted” as required and so at this juncture the Accent designer is just another cost and as such is a "necessary evil" and not an "asset".

It appears unfortunately that, even though we as Accent employees do not share this vision, this is completely irrelevant. We do not presume to be able to pressure the Board into changing its plans however, as we have collectively quite a number of years experience in consulting, we believe it our duty to propose an alternative and, we believe, a more fruitful way to administrate the transition.

Accent’s management have on more than one occasion indicated the strategic importance of various projects. Needles to say that, with the present situation in mind, carrying out the various project tasks becomes more and more difficult. The past has shown that these "negative working conditions" have a direct negative impact on productivity and serious consequences such as further redundancies.

As you we all know, in every serious negotiations, neither side can obtain all it desires: we would like to continue to work in a company which does design work, Accent’s management would like to "rapidly" change business model and have employees perform happily at a maximum
until they are no longer required as if this was completely reasonable. It appears obvious that neither of our objectives can be achieved and it is for this reason that we believe it is in the common interest to implement the transition in a softer manner. We believe it is your duty then, in a more "peaceful" atmosphere and with more favourable conditions, to make known "clearly" to the Accent employees who will continue to have an active fulltime role in Accent . We also believe that the design aspect is propedeutical for producing silicon and as such is essential for Accent’s success.

During this uncertain period we have come together as a whole to express our conviction as one (let us point out the single day strike of the 30th April) and with a solid and concrete proposal from ALL of us, which requests the healthy use of the "Solidarity Contracts". This, we believe is not only a flexible but also a very feasible means, in economic terms but also convenient for the company with regards to the redundancies by giving the necessary serenity to designers to proceed productively in their tasks. There are numerous examples of the implementation of the "Solidarity Contracts" and in microelectronic companies larger than Accent.

Even with the evidence of the benefits of these contract, during the negotiations our proposal has been repeatedly refused and even ignored by some of the Accent management team with unfounded and undocumented objections. We retain that this line, taken by the Accent management team, can be overcome with an objective evaluation of the employees proposal (an obvious path when dealing with engineers paid to reason things out). We are thus, and as always, available for a negotiation phase (open also to you as Accent’s Board of Directors) in order to evaluate more thoroughly all aspects .

With the hope that, our proposal to meet and negotiate are considered, we await your response and bid you our best regards.

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