“National Semiconductor giveth, and it taketh away,” Barry Shlachter, Jim Fuquay, and Maria M. Perotin report for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company gained loads of publicity last month for announcing plans to give every employee a 30-gigabyte video iPod,” Shlachter,Fuquay, and Perotin report. “Last week, the company laid off 35 employees at its Arlington plant. To the surprise of some at the plant, the laid-off workers were asked to give back their high-tech toys.”
Shlachter,Fuquay, and Perotin report, “A person who called the Star-Telegram claiming to have been one of the 35 laid-off workers said many employees at the Arlington plant were under the impression that the iPods were theirs to keep. Some had sold them or given them as gifts, according to the caller. ‘Nothing was ever said about ever having to give it back,’ the caller said. ‘If I’d known it was company property, I never would have picked it up.'”
“‘They were not a gift,’ company spokeswoman LuAnn Jenkins said Friday. Jenkins said she didn’t know whether the company ever intended for the workers to keep the iPods,” Shlachter,Fuquay, and Perotin report. “Employees who leave the company can return the device or pay ‘fair market value’ for it, she said.”
“As more than 100 workers enthusiastically received their iPods one morning last month at the Arlington plant, two company spokesmen would not directly answer questions from Star-Telegram reporter Aman Batheja as to whether workers would be able to keep the iPods once they left the company. ‘We haven’t crossed that bridge,’ said Scott Kahl, human resources director,” Shlachter,Fuquay, and Perotin report. “The road to that bridge turned out to be pretty short.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rob” for the heads up.]
Alternate headline: “Good publicity goes bad.”
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National Semiconductor gives all 8,500 employees 30GB video-capable Apple iPods – June 12, 2006