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Oh, they were paid. About 20-30% less than they could have made elsewhere. Money matters less when you love what you do, and you know the company is struggling.

And when the company yields record profits, they are kicked out.

A little human decency would be nice.

Adding to the comment about being paid less:

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."

Opera hasn't been struggling for years. It's had record profits for a long time by now.

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.

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