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Big paper-products company is bought out, and that means it's time to go into major cost-cutting mode, reports a contractor pilot fish on the scene.

"They came to the IT contractors with the demand, 'If you want to remain here, you'll cut your rate by 10 percent,'" fish says.

"OK, I thought, that's not great, but 90 percent of my previous rate is better than having no work and making 0 percent.

"Then came the punch line: The demand was retroactive to the beginning of the year -- and this was happening in mid-November.

"In other words, the company expected IT contractors to work for free for the rest of the year.

"They lost a lot of good people, and had difficulty getting experienced IT staff after that."

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