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Friday, December 30th, 2022, 5:05 am

A Company That Suffocates Its Staff Like Sarin Gas

How Sirius wants to be perceived; What Sirius became
Half of what’s left of the company is basically a family

Sarin bombletsSummary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has become a minuscule company that’s unable to serve clients and is shamelessly lying to what remains of its client base; Human Resources (HR) is missing in action (MIA), so the operations are improvised and detached from the Rule of Law

TWO DAYS remain until the end of the year and the end of my last month at Sirius — a company that I joined in February 2011. Most of my time at the company was OK, but things took a drastic turn for the worse around 2019 or a little earlier (it was like a Sarin cluster bomb; see image to the right). There was a glimmer of hope (that things would improve) at the end of 2020 owing to a managerial shuffle, but such hopes were short-lived and overly optimistic. The person who was meant to ameliorate matters resorted to finger-pointing and cover-up at the end of 2021, culminating in fierce arguments over legality, truth, ethics, and various technical aspects.

The differences became irreconcilable in November of this year and at the start of December I deposited a report that I had prepared with my wife for a few days. It was almost 50 pages in length, accurately highlighting the abuse we had encountered in recent years.

We regret to say that Sirius doesn’t stand a chance of surviving. It’s run by dishonest people who don’t know what they’re doing and they’re moreover unable/unwilling to listen to important stakeholders.

At the moment it is unclear where the company is based or where to send legal papers to. The ‘UK’ CEO is sending envelopes without a return address, the other CEO lives in some unspecified address in another country (colleagues haven’t seen him for about half a decade), and the company’s registered address changed three times this past autumn (both the company and the awkward subsidiary attached to it — more on that another day), so the only address for the company is in fact some accountancy firm that deals with salaries.

Sirius will mostly be remembered by us as a company that originally strived to spread and support Free and Open Source software… years before it became so desperate for cash that it started lying and outsourcing everything (in spite of strong opposition from staff).

From the report sent to our employer on December 1st:

The Office Manager, the Account Manager, and the CEO don’t have understanding of Open Source and some lack any technical background and are thus unfit for the roles they occupy. In some contexts, this is legally actionable and as far as the public knows, there was never a job advertised for those roles, i.e. each of these was just ad hoc appointment. The CEO has a single-page Web site that says almost nothing and has no track record of actual work (in 18 years). It’s hard to figure out where all that confidence is derived from.

A company that had properly accredited managerial staff in 2011 is now run like a hobby, or by people who think they themselves are the law. No involvement of HR — no evidence of it anyway — so it’s all improvised and likely a one-man fishing expedition, trying to become judge, jury, and executioner. This is not acceptable. This needs to be independently investigated.

There are many legal issues with the way Sirius handles itself. As noted earlier in this document, the company did not pay the pension for months at the time, it did not pay a webhost until it was too late, and staff members haven’t received payslips for months.

The company conveniently shifts the attention to two workers. Funnily enough, the official Sirius web site still links to the sites they claim to be “defamatory”, using Roy and Rianne for self-serving marketing purposes. The Sirius Web site states that Rianne runs TuxMachines, yet it’s presented as a “discovery” in the accusations. How is that anything short of satire?

Photo credit: U.S. Honest John missile warhead cutaway, showing M134 Sarin bomblets (c. 1960). Public Domain.

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