Saturday, March 28, 2015

Paid time off matters: Ensuring minimum standards for the people at our suppliers

Find below the text of Brad Smith's post on Microsoft's official blog.

Paid Time Off Matters and Why Inequality Matters

After reading Brad Smith's post "Paid time off matters", I remembered the title of the post Bill Gates devoted to his review of Thomas Piketty's "Capitalism in the 21st century": Why Inequality Matters
Simple coincidence?

More news and the original key announcement by Microsoft: Paid time off matters: ensuring minimum standards for people at our suppliers.

In the Washington Post an article by Brigid Schulte that should be published in their paper edition on sunday: From the ranks of Microsoft's permatemps
In the New York Times an article by Claire Cain Miller: From Microsoft, a novel way to mandate paid leave
In The Guardian, Jana Kasperkevic is the only one, I believe, in her article Microsoft to require suppliers to provide paid leave to workers, to provide a link to the original declaration by Brad Smith on Microsoft's blog On The Issues, Paid time off matters: ensuring minimum standards for the people at our suppliers.
In fact, for us this declaration is the most important piece of information as it conveys Microsoft's approach.
It's deserves our/your complete attention as it spells out more practical details.
After reading it one can hope that the supplier's employees themselves will be part of the process and we certainly would like to be included: how this decision by Microsoft will impact the ongoing collective bargaining between us and Lionbridge Technologies will be a test of the concrete consequences of its implementation. We don't have yet a date for the next collective bargaining meeting but we'll let you know as soon as it is determined.
If you know of other interesting articles reporting on this story, thank you for sharing them with us.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

We are in the news today

We are in the news today :) 

In the Seattle Times, article by Matt Day

On, post by Todd Bishop

On the Wonk Blog of the Washington Post, post by Lydia De Pillis

Many questions remain unanswered about how Microsoft's announcement will be implemented and how it will impact or not our present ongoing collective bargaining with Lionbridge while they have been resolutely against providing any paid leave of any sort.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Chronology 2014

December 5, 2011: Start on the Redmond campus of the Microsoft's lab to certify apps for the Windows Store (10 Tier 1 employees supplied by Lionbridge Technologies)

December 12, 2012: Email to Dan Bross (Microsoft Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs) about Microsoft's commitment to Human Rights via the UN Global Compact (article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:  Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay”)

January 1st, 2013: Creation of the blog Campaign for the right to paid holidays for all employees in the US

August 2nd, 2013: Marilyse B is fired by Lionbridge after having asked for benefits for the Tier 1 employees. Soon later she files a charge with NLRB against Lionbridge for retaliation.

January 2014: NLRB finds in favor of Marilyse. She settles with Lionbridge and the charge is abandoned.

March 2014: Beginning of the organizing drive for TWA with the creation and collection of authorizing cards.

August 1st 2014: TWA files with NLRB the petition to organize a vote for the union. Creation of the blog Lionbridge Union to communicate with fellow lab workers. 

September 11, 2014: vote in favor of TWA as union representing Tier1 Lionbridge Technologies employees in the Windows Store App Certification lab in Redmond (at the time). 

October 11, 2014: Publication of The Other Microsoft by Philippe Boucher ( and Kindle versions)

October 14, 2014: Bill Gates publishes on his blog 'Why inequality matters', his review of Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the 21st century.

November 7, 2014: Philippe Boucher is disciplined by Lionbridge with a 'written warning' for The Other Microsoft because it 'unacceptably disparaged Microsoft and Lionbridge'.

November 8: contact via email with Microsoft's Board of Directors about the lack of paid leave for supplier's employees, situation described in The Other Microsoft.

November 14, 2014: collective bargaining first meeting

December 11, 204: Philippe Boucher files a discrimination charge against Lionbridge for the 'written warning' about The Other Microsoft. 

December 18, 2014: collective bargaining second meeting

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Contract proposal from Lionbridge on February 27

At our fifth collective bargaining meeting, Lionbridge gave us its counter-proposal. See for yourself what they offer. If you are especially concerned with wages and benefits, look at the pages 8 and 9: there is nothing left of what we proposed and they offer NOTHING: not one paid holiday, not one paid sick leave, not one paid parental leave, not any paid time off whatsoever and of course no raise and no cost of living adjustment clause. They struck out the parts of our proposal they refused and the underlined text is what they added to our initial proposal. We found Lionbridge's proposal completely inacceptable. Let us know what you think.