They dumped all the agency programmers a month after I started my software contract with Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) in 1982.
It was a decision that came from Paris, fallout from the 1982 recession. A lot of those dumped contractors were layered up. They came in through an agency that in turn provided them through a general contractor, and SITA itself was essentially billing out their time back to Air France and Lufthansa who in turn were funded by their governments.
As much as I'm a proponent of free-market labor, this layering up of contractors just seems wrong. Its prevalence at government and pseudo-government installations stiffs the little guy and the taxpayer at the hands of the public sector.
A commenter on Business Week lashed out about it the other day. In "When It Comes to Temps, Who's the Boss?", Ransomexx and Murica let it rip: