May 30, 2003

More looting, closer to home

Dozens of former employees looted offices of the personal injury claims firm The Accident Group after being told by text message that they had lost their jobs. . .

Offices in Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool were ransacked by staff, who carried off computers and other equipment. Staff had received three text messages on their mobile phones, warning them that they should not go into work, that their final salaries could not be paid and that a full explanation would be given by e-mail. . .

Andy Potton, a claims assessor with the firm, had gone to his office in Speke, Liverpool, because he assumed colleagues would gather there. He said: "I could hardly believe what I saw. There were people walking out of the office with computers. One chap quite high up in the company had loaded up his car with laptops and driven off."

From the Telegraph.

UPDATE: The Times of London notes that the company's slogan was, “Where there’s blame there’s a claim”. Looks like the (ex-)employees took it to heart.

Posted by David on May 30, 2003 8:42 PM

Comments

Does this surprise anyone? I am all for capitalism, and if your job is no longer needed then "bye bye". But there is an honorable way to fire somebody for such a reason...and this is not it. You treat someone like a respectable human being, they will act like a respectable human being. You treat them like dirt, they will act in accordance.

Posted by: Tartan69 on May 31, 2003 12:43 AM

Could it be that one of the reasons the company folded was that this sort of behavior didn't *start* with the initial text messages?

Posted by: Billy Oblivion on May 31, 2003 1:10 AM

I'm immediately suspicious of anything called
a "personal injury claims firm"
I'm thinking something shady was going on
and the employees knew it. So why not...
what are they going to do? call a copper?

Posted by: TX Vet on May 31, 2003 7:27 AM

There is no easy way to tell people we are closing down. I have been through it but a meeting with everybody there seems best. That is how it was done in my case.

I am not at all surprised at what happened - I Do not condone it but they are not likely to be punished and as they were denied earned paychecks, they were trying to get something.

Heck, if my company closed down, I would be tempted to take my laptop if it wasn't such a piece of old junk.

Posted by: tallan on May 31, 2003 7:36 AM

Work for sleazebags; expect sleazy treatment.

Posted by: Smiling Dave on May 31, 2003 8:01 AM

Billy Oblivion typed:
"You treat someone like a respectable human being, they will act like a respectable human being. You treat them like dirt, they will act in accordance."

Yeh, right. We're all automatons, who only act (er, react) based on how we're treated. What a crock. Your "reasoning" is a thinly veiled justification to do what you want, when you want, because that's how someone treated you.

Your name almost fits. You are Oblivious. Grow up.

Posted by: anon on May 31, 2003 8:24 AM

anon, you are wrong.

people DO react to how you treat them, giving respect (not unconditional respect ofcourse) often results in the recieving of respect..

I would add more to arguement, discuss human behavior etc, but I see no reason to as you concluded your 'arguement' with insults, so your really not worth the effort...

Posted by: Dcreeper on May 31, 2003 9:51 AM

Anon, did the aliens forget to remove the anal probe, or is that your head up there?

This "corporation" declared itself an outlaw organization when it decreed that employees' final earned salary checks would not be paid. Once you put yourself outside the law, you're outside the protection of the law as well. What the employees did was not only to be expected; it was justified, regardless of any "legal" action that might be raised against them.

Property rights are a two-way street. Violate mine, and I'll violate yours with good cheer.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto on May 31, 2003 9:57 AM

Hey anon (oh that's clever)

Oblivions statement was a simple and true statement on human behavior.

It's not justification for anything - it is an observation.

Someone needs to grow up here, but it is not Oblivion.

By the way, next time your going to rudely, arrogantly insult someone, at least have the balls not to do it anonomously.

Blithering, whining coward.

Posted by: abery on May 31, 2003 10:00 AM

Hey anon (oh that's clever)

Oblivions statement was a simple and true statement on human behavior.

It's not justification for anything - it is an observation.

Someone needs to grow up here, but it is not Oblivion.

By the way, next time your going to rudely, arrogantly insult someone, at least have the balls not to do it anonomously.

Blithering, whining coward.

Posted by: abery on May 31, 2003 10:01 AM

Any who secretly agree with anon should note the disrespect he showed others.. and the response... it's that whole cause and effect thing...

Posted by: Dcreeper on May 31, 2003 10:05 AM

It's a pretty straightforward exercise in game theory, actually. Most large layoffs in the US are handled in ways to reduce the risk of looting, either with generous severance packages and continued benefits, or with security officers escorting people off the premises so they don't take anything that's not nailed down. Amusingly, management personnel, especially senior management, are far more likely to get the escorted-out-of-the-building treatment.

Posted by: Jay Manifold on May 31, 2003 10:55 AM

Just maybe this firm went under and the workers lost their jobs, BECAUSE THE WORKERS WERE THE SLEAZEBAGS. The type of people who resort to theft and looting, probably aren't the type of people who exhibit the most desirable traits and skills of highly-valued -- and even profitable -- employees. How much stuff did these scumbags steal from the firm before it went under? How much company property was already sitting in their homes? What other unethical, immoral, and illegal activity did these employees already engage in?

I don't believe that people magically become thieves and looters because they lost their jobs. These people were already scumbags.

Posted by: Dave on May 31, 2003 12:14 PM

Nice observation Dcreeper. No, I hadn't noticed but I'm still chuckling at the irony! lol

Hey Anon, I don't think Billy was trying to say we're automations. Rather, that generally speaking, we humans will treat others the way we are treated. Square me, and I'll square you. Screw me and...

If you're scoffing that reciprocation, is it because you think there's a virtue in maintaining a civilized manner when dealing with uncivilized people? Or is it more of a respect for the law and a desire to allow 'due process' to run its course?

Me, I'm with Billy. I think there is a virtue to individuals handling situations directly and outside the law, because I like the notion of immediate and negative feedback to behaving like an ass. Plus, I've little faith in the law to honestly and quickly settle such disputes. Besides, it provides a good bit of disinsentive to others who might be considering similar tactics.

Posted by: Rob on May 31, 2003 12:20 PM

If you tell me you're not going to pay my final salary, I'll take it out of you any way I can. The looting was justified.

Posted by: Anthony on June 1, 2003 3:25 PM

The response level to local and national disasters is great but it's a damn shame that so many citizens take advantage of the negative situations.

I mean everytime there is an earthquake, a flood, an oil spill - there's always a group of heartless people who rip off tax payers.

This is in response to reading that 4 of Oprah Winfreys "angels" got busted ripping off the system. Shame on them!
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/08/19/crimesider/entry5251471.shtml

Posted by: mibsniste on February 25, 2010 6:40 AM
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