Well now, were those engineers not paid every month for a decade? What more does Opera owe them?
And when the company yields record profits, they are kicked out.
A little human decency would be nice.
You are leaving out employee benefits. Free, hot lunch every day. Generous pension savings. Free insurance of various kinds covering not just the employee, but also the family. Free phone + subscription. Subsidized gym memberships. Massage. The list goes on.
If you factor in all the employee benefits the result is a much higher "salary."
People weren't kicked out until Opera needed cash to buy Skyfire.
Human decency sounds strange coming from you when you're bashing the work of your former colleagues.
These people had a job they loved for x years. Not the employer's fault if people decided to stick around instead of getting another job.
The employer can't keep track of how much everyone is having and pay them accordingly.