Pando

We might be about to learn even more about how tech and animation kingpins conspired to steal wages from employees

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on January 6, 2016

From The Techtopus Desk

Yesterday on Pando, Mark Ames reminded readers of George Lucas’ role in the largest wage fixing cartel in Silicon Valley history, aka the Techtopus.

But we might soon learn a lot more about how he and other tech and animation kingpins conspired to restrict wages and hiring of countless thousand workers.

That’s thanks to the latest development in (let’s call it) Techtopus II, a class action suit brought by animation workers against Lucasfilm, Pixar and others, similar to the successful $415 million suit brought by tech workers against Google, Apple et al.

In late December, Judge Lucy Koh -- the presiding judge over both Techtopus and Techtopus II -- ordered that Pixar and Lucasfilm must hand over unredacted versions of confidential expert reports and class certification documents from the original lawsuit. The plaintiffs say the documents will help show the depth of the conspiracy to suppress wages.  The companies involved were, unsurprisingly, expected to appeal the ruling and a hearing date was set for later this month.

Now, Law360 reports the plaintiffs have dropped their request for the hearing, saying an agreement has been reached over discovery.

While the nature of the agreement hasn’t been made public, the implication is that the tech companies have agreed to hand over the unredacted documents for use in Techtopus II. If that’s really the case, and those documents end up being cited in a subsequent trial, then we may get to learn even more about how Lucas, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and many other business “heroes” made themselves even richer by keeping their workers artificially poorer.

Earlier court documents revealed the Techtopus II suit was prompted by animation workers reading about about Techtopus I here on Pando. We will of course be reporting just as thoroughly on the sequel as the original.