Saturday, November 21, 2015

2015 Thanksgiving at Microsoft: the stinging bitterness of an unpaid holiday

I have been working full time as a tester/reviewer in the Windows App Certification Center since January 2012. Thanksgiving 2015 is coming. Microsoft gives two paid holidays to its ‘direct employees’ for Thanksgiving but we are employed via a supplier (Lionbridge Technologies) that does not offer any paid holiday.
In my case, this lack of paid holidays has saved Microsoft and Lionbridge a total of more than $7K during the last four years. Meanwhile my co-workers and I keep struggling from paycheck to paycheck and many are going to choose to come to the office the day after Thanksgiving not to lose another payday. Of course this Friday will not be paid overtime, just the regular $17 to $22 per hour, the same unchanged rates than 4 years ago.

Friday, November 20, 2015

How Lionbridge cut 4+ hours of the PTO they said would provide for 2015

When Lionbridge HR Senior Director Susan Gillespie emailed Tier1 employees (see below) about Lionbridge's implementation of Microsoft's Paid Time Off requirement she wrote that people would get 13.85 hours of PTO. That's 4.61 hours less than what Lionbridge had offered in the Memorandum Of Understanding they had signed on October 23, that refers to 18.46 hours of PTO.  Should this reduction be interpreted as a retaliation against the employees who voted against the ratification of the tentative collective agreement? It certainly looks like it. Not a very auspicious start.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lionbridge to implement immediately their PTO program

After the rejection of the tentative collective agreement, Lionbridge has offered to implement immediately their proposition relative to paid time off (PTO). The union has decided no to oppose it. That means that people who have been working in the lab for more than 9 months will get now the 2,5 days of PTO corresponding to the months of November and December, provided they keep working full time during these 2 months. People who have not worked for 9 months will not be eligible for PTO until they have been working for 9 months.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Results of the ratification vote: 20 NO 5 YES

25 Tier1s (on 40) voted. 20 voted NO and 5 voted YES.
There is a clear majority of Tier1s who refused Lionbridge minimal proposal. 
This vote sends a message to Lionbridge and Microsoft. They have to offer better conditions: significant raises after 3 + years of full time work without any raise with a bottom rate at $17 per hour, better benefits like paid holidays, paid parental leave, immediate accruing of paid time off taking in consideration the time already spent: immediate 15 days of PTO for people who have worked full time for more than a year. Microsoft and Lionbridge financial results are such they can easily provide better compensation and benefits.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lionbridge Tentative Final Agreement and why we dislike it

Go here to see Lionbridge Tentative Final Agreement. 
Why should Tier 1 employees dislike it to the point they could refuse to ratify it? Read below for our analysis.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ratification vote on Thursday, November 12, 2 to 4pm, room 3313

The ratification vote will take place in Conference Room 3313 from 2-4pm on Thursday, November 12th

Lionbridge Q3 results

Compare Lionbridge Q3 results with the fact the company refuses any pay increase, any paid parental leave, any paid holidays. Meanwhile, 
"The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program allowing the Company to repurchase up to $50 million of the Company's common stock through fiscal year 2018. The new authorization is almost three times as large as the previous $18 million share repurchase program that was announced in November of 2012 and which has now expired."

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why we think arbitration is dangerous

Read this article in the November 1st edition of the New York Times, titled "A privatization of the justice system".