Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Does the closure of the lab in Bellevue and its relocation out of the US constitute a "Runaway Shop' ?

From the start we have been suspicious about the way Lionbridge and Microsoft decided to close the lab in Bellevue, lay off all its employees and relocate the work in labs out of the US (probably in Warsaw and Beijing). This decision came hardly two months after a collective bargaining agreement had been signed that included the union abandoning its charge against Microsoft for joint employment.
Due to our lack of experience in this matter and the destabilization caused by most of the union members having been laid off, it's only recently that we learned about the Runaway Shop doctrine that we think could apply to our case. Considering Lionbridge gave very little information about the economic reasons for the relocation of the lab and considering how the agreement was negotiated a few days after Microsoft lost an appeal with the NLRB national panel about the joint employment charge we are suspicious about anti-union and unfair labor practices. We have therefore decided to file charges with the NLRB so that this situation can be more thoroughly investigated and clarified. The charges were filed today against Lionbridge and against Microsoft at the NLRB's office in Seattle.

Lionbridge Technologies to be acquired by HIG Capital

See the press release here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Microsoft contractor laying off workers in unionized unit

Article by Matt Day in the Seattle Times. Notice the part about eventually rehiring people? Right... but after the union is gone.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Microsoft/Lionbridge close the lab and lays off all employees

For the record, less than two months after Lionbridge signed a collective bargaining agreement (on July 30) including a clause that temporary Workers of America would withdraw its charge of joint employment against Microsoft, the employees were informed during a stand up meeting on wednesday September 21 , confirmed by an email the next day (see text below) that the lab would close by the end of October with all the 20+ employees but five laid off this coming wednesday. The union was not informed by Lionbridge of this decision. While we are considering our options, they could be very limited due to a very restrictive grievance procedure that privatize any protest with extremely costly arbitration.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Best wishes for your first Labor Day as a paid holiday

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, Tier1s  can now enjoy Labor Day as a paid holiday. We hope you appreciate this improved benefit. Our thoughts remain with our friends who were laid off with our best wishes in your job search. Keep us posted.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

In the Seattle Times: Microsoft temps gain first contract.

In the Sunday August 20 edition of the Seattle Times, this article by Matt Day: Microsoft temps gain first contract. Not mentioned, the second edition of The Other Microsoft that details the process. On Monday, Nat Levy posts on Geekwire.com: Temp workers at Microsoft supplier sign first contract amid layoffs.