Under German law you are not only allowed to talk about your salary with your colleagues, it is expressly illegal for your employer to try and stop you from doing this. I’m surprised a German boss would warn of “consequences” for doing that, and if FSFE had a union I doubt he would have gotten away with it.
Under which statute?
I'm only aware that those clauses in work contracts that forbade talking about your salary were consistently struck down by courts, when they didn't include reasonable limits to the prohibition, because they would restrict you from discussing your salary with your spouse or tax accountant.
Later courts ruled that even with such limitations, those clauses are void, because they run against the basic right of forming coalitions in the workplace (article 9, section 3 of the Basic Law).
But I'm not aware of any statute that bans those clauses expressis verbis. Is there a newish one?
It's only a statement from one side. This can be 100% false, because people lie, often.
I hope that you can take some time out to recover and then go on to find something worthy of your time and effort within a positive environment.
Unfortunately it has been proved very often that this is not true. This is not the first case of racism and sexisme in FOSS and probably won't.
Your own exactly correct observation of the super importance of a date format (in most situations) expresses exactly one of the things that validate the overall complaint.
This means, there is some other unstated reason you dismiss the complaint. Because your stated reason actually supports it.
The casual misrepresentation of this saga also makes me skeptical of the authors viewpoint.
The fish rots from the head down, and apart from Stallman (which is mentioned in the article) I for myself would personally add Torvalds to that same conversation (even though with a little less overt sexism, but definitely with more bullying).
But because Torvalds's project has had an incredible ROI, i.e. it has made lots of people lots of money (heck, I for myself only started learning Python 17 years ago because I had a Linux distro easily at hand) his position is pretty much safe for the time being.
Even if he's not as successful as we all hope, I can respect that he is trying.
Some folks just like being a jerk, and want to enjoy continuing to do so.
No one can seriously believe that there exists an organisation that is completely free from tensions between members, sometimes people simply make mistakes, what counts is how the organisation react and the proportion.
If the fish rots from the head, what should we think about Apple where Steve Jobs was known for bullying and terrorising employees for no real reason?
Big tech in US have been condemned for the infamous no-hire agreement in SV After a class action filed on behalf of roughly 60,000 workers (sixty thousands).
For instance, after a Google recruiter solicited an Apple employee, Schmidt told Jobs that the recruiter would be fired, court documents show. Jobs then forwarded Schmidt’s note to a top Apple human resources executive with a smiley face.
That's the real issue nowadays in FOSS, not the lack of human perfection.
Nothing even remotely similar has ever happened inside the FSF, apart when they assaulted Stallman over a fabricated issue and forced him to resign
I could make names, but I don't want a shadow ban from HN, suffice to say that some of these people work at Google .
True, but if cases like this happens, then there should be an investigation.
> I could make names, but I don't want a shadow ban from HN, suffice to say that some of these people work at Google .
You are using a newly created (6 days old) account anyways.
Did somebody ask to the FSFE?
I didn't so I can't honestly take sides on this.
But as a long time donor and former member of the chaos computer club (when I lived in Berlin) I will write to them to ask for more information.
> You are using a newly created (6 days old) account anyways.
I use anonymity to protect myself from retaliation, it happened in the past, it's been bad, but I've learned my lessons.
Anyway it shouldn't be too hard to check if some actual or former Google employee was in the FSF (against Stallman) and my claims are true or a lie.
> [...] we felt it necessary to state unequivocally that this post does not reflect the reality of the facts and contradicts the verdict by the Berlin Labour Court.
> The court judgement of 19 November 2020 (reference number 42 Ca 5723/20) did not acknowledge any factual basis to the assertions. Furthermore the judges concluded that our former employee's own statements prove that she “neither experienced hostility, nor was she offended, nor in another form intimidated or demeaned”. Additionally they found, she received equal treatment, and that “the boundaries of socially acceptable conduct” were “not exceeded”.
> Until the end of the proceedings, we do not wish to comment any further [...]
If the court claim is affirming of her claims, and her story stands up, this is worth carrying forwards.
There are few organisations that can successfully promote and defend free software, for one of the major ones to be headed by a person who behaves like described is incredibly concerning - what other lies and manipulations does he partake in?
She should also include the excerpts of the judgement since they sided with her. If she was tasked with rewriting the text announcing Stallman's departure and she produced something this bad, it's no wonder it wasn't published.
I'm not saying that there isn't a problem, but in a story about an employee who was fired due to discrimination instead of incompetence, competence does matter and if her job had anything to do with communication then she does fail spectacularly at this job.
If, however, she was a software developer, then it's another story and her complaint has probably more merit.
She also complains that she's been mistreated for being a foreign woman, but based on my experience (I've lived in Berlin as non German) and her English (mine is not better) there is a strong propability that something got lost in translation and they simply misunderstood each other.
* I know Matthias Kirschner personally (though not very good). This story does not fit the character I met.
* There is a campaign of disinformation, character assassination and harrassment going on against the Debian project, the FSFE, and their members (maybe other projects as well). This has been going on for multiple years now, presumably all orchestrated by the same individual, impersonating a multitude of different persons.
I also met Malina Galina in person, she made a positive impression on me. I just found out the linked text also shows up on her twitter account.
I take that as entirely trumping this attempt to deny or excuse the inexcusable.
Unless someone pulls the court documents and gets them translated, we are very much operating in a word-against-word situation
There are no names in this story, nobody can confirm or deny it and few of the claims are suspicious.
Unfortunately, the German law foresees only monetary and no other type of compensation
That's not true, most of the sentences favourable to the plaintiff not only award the worker with a monetary compensation but usually order the reinstatement as well.
Of course a court in a country where the legal system is based on the civil law cannot force anybody to ask for forgiveness if the law does not dictate it.
You can't ask to a court of the civil law to emit a verdict that the law does not contemplate.
True, but I think this should become more known to a wider audience to start an investigation.
Perhaps a strong drop in donations will be the catalyst for change and self reflection.
As a consequence, if a woman agrees to work for less for doing the same job with the same results, it would make her much more attractive for hiring. A no-brainer, really.
Also, this 'equality' approach _reeks_ socialism to me, and, coming from a country that suffered from socialism for 70 years, I have seen with my own eyes what disastrous economic effect this has on the workforce.
In theory, equal wages lead to more just distribution of wealth. In practice, they just destroy productivity. In the USSR, people had _extremely_ low productivity because life taught them that no matter how hard they work, they'll get paid exactly the same as the most lazy useless colleague who does absolutely nothing all day long.
Salary is a price that a person is willing to sell their work for, and if they are not happy with what they get, they can ask for a raise. If it is not given, it is likely because the work they are doing is not worth it. But they are free to look elsewhere for a bigger pay.
the problem is that women get paid less even if they work as hard or harder than men.
the only way to discover this is to compare salaries.
As I started this argument, the goal of an employer is to pay as little as possible for given work. Let's turn this argument around: if male and female are equally qualified, what would make anyone pay male _more_? If a female accepts to work for less, than she's going to be hired in the first place!
So, maybe females are paid less because they are less productive on the average? It's quite plausible, because they objectively have more distractions then men (giving birth, raising children, etc) . This is a rather valid reason to compensate them with higher pay, but presenting it as 'equal pay for equal fork' is an intentional deception.
therefore the assumption must be that women are paid less because of of this perceived difference, and any claim that women are actually less productive must be proven with extraordinary evidence.
Last time I checked, women's weightlifting or running records were nowhere near those of men. So it is an objective law of nature that women are indeed physically weaker. (To compensate for that, they have unique abilities that men totally lack.)
> therefore the assumption must be that women are paid less because of of this perceived difference
The assumption must be that everyone is paid as low as he/she agrees to work for. It that amount is lower for women, it is only because they agree to work for less. Any rational employer should hire the candidate who asks for less money, and any boss who does not do that will likely go out of business soon, since he can't make rational decisions.
By the way, it is also possible, that a person overestimates his/hers real value to the employer, believing to be doing the same work as another colleague, but getting less pay, starting this fight for 'justice'. In the reality it is most likely that a colleague is only perceived equal, but is somewhat superior in reality.
TL;DR: your salary is an objective value of your labour. if you think you it is worth more, negotiate a raise or go get a better paying job. If you don't get it, you are not worth that pay.
observable physical weakness has no bearing on any other capacities, but what i said above is specifically about those other capacities.
i expect to see evidence that women are less capable programmers, project managers, etc.
the only thing that a salary measures objectively, is your negotiation skills.
i absolutely disagree that everyone should only be paid what they are able to negotiate for.
if there is an objective measure of performance (which, i admit is very hard, if it is possible at all) then equal performance should get equal pay. maybe add in equal responsibility, since that is also a factor.
English is not my first language and I'm not really familiar with the use of word 'weak' to describe mental capacity. Personally, I perceive women to be just as capable as men when it comes to intellectual work.
I don't agree with you that salary measures only negotiation skills. If you are a god-tier haggler, but zero in programming, you wouldn't have big salary for long. Your compensation is based mostly on the value you provide, which is only somewhat influenced by your negotiation skills.
You yourself say that it is very hard to objectively measure the performance of an intellectual worker. I think that is not just very hard, but simply impossible. Consequently, we can't pay people equally for equal performance because we can't even measure that performance to begin with.
In contrast, direct negotiations system is fair, and works both ways. If you think you are underpaid, go on a job market and find a better paying job. If you can't, your perceived market value is lower than you think. If you can, and leave for greener pastures, your current employer will lose a skilled worker, because he underpaid you.
Rational employer will seek to maximize the value extracted from employees, and hire the cheapest candidate with sufficient skills. Rational worker will seek the best paying job. Eventually the job market reaches an equilibrium, and everyone is paid what he or she is currently worth in current economy.
So if some woman thinks that she's paid less than her male colleague, she can just test herself against the marker. If she can't find an equally or better paid job, maybe she's overvaluing herself. And if she can, well, she can simply change job for a better paying one!
(And we don't need to make some bizarre attempts to create a performance measurement system, which inevitably will be flawed and inaccurate)
For example Italy is highly unionised so there can't be a gender pay gap in jobs regulated by a national contract (most of them are)
There is however a gender pay gap between men and women, in general, of a couple thousands euros/year (it kept going down in the last few years)
But it's hard to link it to the fact that women are paid less to do the same job, it's based on the fact that historically many women didn't work or had jobs with a lower general pay (for example 90% of the teachers in primary and elementary schools and 80% in high schools are women)
The issue exists but not because men are usually paid more to do the same job.
In my mind this article lacks some detail to be 100% convincing (I can't really imagine that a discussion of pay would be penalized, especially in Germany, especially in such an org), but my donations are halted for now. Should this be true the least thing to expect would be Matthias Kirschner stepping down.
For the mean time: Which other Europe/Germany-centered FOSS organizations are there doing similar work one could support instead?
If they can also promote equality at the same time, then great.
But the goal of promoting equality and free software are not equal - free software is the primary goal.
If the organisation is acting illegally, then it's a matter for the police. But if the organisation is focussing on it's primary goal rather than a 2ndary goal you think is more important, it's probably a sign it's time to quit and start your own organisation with different goals...
If my organizations goal is feeding the homeless, am I free to only hire white people because racism is not my organization's primary goal?
You can achieve your organisation's primary goal without being horrible human beings. That's allowed. In fact, it's basic human decency.
That's all in the general case though, unfortunately it does sound like there was some bad practice in the fsfe specifically this time. There are two sides to every story though. I'd want to hear both before making judgement.
We call those people sociopaths.
We have lost sight of the idea that all organizations should use long term thinking and have the following priorities, in this order:
* Do nothing that harms our employees, customers, or our investors
* Accomplish our mission, whatever mission that is
* Create revenue for investors
If the OP's account is true (I have no reason to discount it) then the FSFE violated rule #1. I'd argue that the FSF mission is to promote free software and a healthy ecosystem of Open Source software and developers. If you accept that as the FSF mission, and the account is true, then they also violated rule #2.
We should not rely on the laws to prompt us to act for social good. The laws are there to isolate and protect us from those who do not act morally in the eyes of the state.
This perception of appropriate conduct, revealed in this case, will significantly hamstring the FSFE in achieving its primary goal. This conduct introduces significant out of band risk to the proceedings of the FSFE. This conduct introduces significant risk to those associating with the FSFE.
We do need a link to the relevant court documents before dusting off the pitchforks.
You need to learn the difference between öffentliches Recht and privatrecht.