DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Phil Palios holds a hastily made sign while protesting a 10 percent rate cut for Microsoft temporary workers. The Redmond native who has always wanted to work at Microsoft organized a protest Monday night that drew about two dozen temporary workers.
Phil Palios grew up in Redmond watching Microsoft grow. It’s where he always wanted to work. He was glad to have the opportunity to get a foot in the door as a contractor. But he became disillusioned with the size of the company today and the way it treats its workers, particularly those who are hired through third-party employment agencies. When his employer, Volt, passed on the news Friday that all contractors would have to take a 10 percent pay cut — for him it would mean going from $34.25 an hour to about $30.83 — Palios had had enough.
“I had no intention of accepting a 10 percent pay cut,” Palios said in an interview Monday afternoon at Victor’s Coffee in downtown Redmond, before attending a rare, albeit small, labor protest at Microsoft that evening. “So I viewed it as, I am not going to accept this pay cut. They might let me go sooner. I might get black-listed or something, but I wanted to at least act and make my voice heard and try to unite the workers and have them realize that if they form an alliance — it doesn’t have to be a union, if they just work together — they can have a lot more power and open up communication channels with the company.”