Like Howard Beale (Peter Finch) in Network, whose mantra was “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore,” temp workers at Microsoft are Hades-like too as word leaked out that pay cuts are in the works for the temporary force.

One temp from Volt has already set up a Web site to organize a “peaceful protest,” maintaining that he and his coworkers all have contracts that must be honored.

One temp agency, Aditi, has already caved and said it would honor the pay cuts as part of the “at will” nature of employment (what happened to the contract? Aditi’s site doesn’t say).

The other staffing agencies seem to be marching along in lockstep, acquiescing to the pay cuts and passing them on to the temps.

In Network (1976), Howard Beale is a TV newscaster who urges everyone–in tough economic times similar to ours–to stick their heads out their windows in New York and shout his mantra about being “mad as hell.”

In the lead-up to this viewer request, Beale makes a little speech that is all too eerily appropriate for today, to wit:

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad!