'I've asked the C-Class wannabees to come up with new ideas for exploiting, I mean cutting the cost of, the workforce, and one of the little lawyer-types aspiring for elevation has put up rather a good wheeze,' writes Ed.
A day later the diary reads: 'Had the lawyer in today. "So how does this idea of your work?" I asked him.'
'"Well you know those 200 engineers who came over with the Tomahawk Technologies acquisition?" asks the lawyer'
'"Well they were transferred under TUPE rules", said the lawyer.'
'"Meaning?" I asked.'
'"That the same conditions they had at Tomahawk have to be observed here",' replies the lawyer".'
'"And the conditions at Tomahawk . . . ."'
'"Were particularly generous," says the lawyer. Their redundancy liabilities are huge.
'And your scheme is?"'
'"To get them to sign new contracts which cancel out the old terms".'
'"Is that legal?" I ask.
'"Absolutely so long as they sign up voluntarily," says the lawyer.'
'"And if there's an element of coercion?"'
'"That would be illegal but what constitutes coercion is not something capable of precise definition," replies the lawyer.'
'I get his drift,' Ed confides to his diary, 'I'll put it on the grapevine via those gossips in marketing that anyone not signing the new contracts is liable for unpleasant - unspecified but definitely very unpleasant - consequences. If I create the right FUD factor they'll see the new contracts as a lifeline.'
'"OK". I tell the lawyer, "get on with it." Roll on my $25 mill.'