Friday, December 16, 2016

New charges filed with NLRB against Lionbridge and Microsoft for Unfair Labor Practices and Joint Employment

On December 13, 2016, TWA filed charges with NLRB against Lionbridge and Microsoft for Unfair Labor Practices (bargaining in bad faith) and anti-union (retaliation) and again joint employment. Mentioned is the runaway doctrine where a company closes a site to move the work to non-unionized places.
References: Microsoft Corporation Case 19-CA-189881
Microsoft Corporation Case 19-CA-189865
Lionbridge Case 19-CA 189865, 189868

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 (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.

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 Temp workers at Microsoft supplier sign first contract amid layoffs.

Friday, August 12, 2016

About the lay offs

From the information we have, 6 people decided to leave voluntarily and 6 were laid off.  All the people who left voluntarily and not voluntarily were on the day shift. All our best wishes for those looking for jobs: let us keep in touch. Take good care.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lionbridge reports Q2 results with record revenue of $143.8 million,

Lionbridge reports Q2 results with record revenue of $143.8 million, GAAP EPS of $0.09 and record non-GAAP EPS of $0.19 

August 5, 2015 -
Delivers 10% Revenue Growth and 58% non-GAAP Earnings Growth Year-on-Year; Provides Positive Outlook for Q3 with Expected Revenue Growth of More Than 20% Year-on-Year
 WALTHAM, Mass. – August 05, 2015 – Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: LIOX), today announced revenue and earnings for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015.  Financial highlights for the second quarter include:
  • Record revenue of $143.8 million, an increase of $13.2 million or 10% compared to the second quarter of 2014 and a sequential increase of $7.0 million, or 5%, compared to the first quarter of 2015.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The ratification vote passes 30 to 1

You probably already know that the ratification vote passed 30 to 1.
Now will start the painful process of the lay offs.
Let us know how it works out and what problems if any you are confronted with.
Thanks again to all who helped figure out the agreement and organized the vote.
Take care

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement Between Lionbridge and Temporary Workers of America

This Saturday morning, from 9AM to 2PM. five of us negotiated with three Lionbridge's representatives a contract in the context of the upcoming layoffs.
You can read the content of this addendum here.
Were present for the union, Lizzie Mueth, Jeff Chapman, Leo Guerra, Colin Sweeney and Philippe Boucher .
We obtained a severance payment for people leaving voluntarily or not:
4 weeks pay plus one week per year of presence.
We don't know how many people will be concerned (we were told between 10 and 20) and the date would be August 10.
For the people who will stay, the minimal pay will be $19.50 per hour, becoming $20 six months later. They'll also become eligible for merit pay based increases on the second payroll period after ratification.

People with more than 9 months of employment immediately become regular with all the benefits linked to this classification: paid company holidays and paid time off increasing with the years of employment, more than the 15 days we have now.
Lionbridge told us they were considering parental leave but nothing was decided yet. We'll see.
The five of us felt this was the best we could get so we accepted this offer and it will be submitted to a ratification vote by all lab employees this coming Wednesday.
You should receive printed copies of the agreement at the office on Monday and we'll post it online as well as soon as possible.
The selective process to determine who is laid off will rely on the last three evaluations and made by Tier2s with at least one year in their position. It was very difficult to devise a fair system of selection and we thought this was the best possible option in a process that remains inherently painful and somehow subjective.
In exchange of Lionbridge's concessions the union agreed to abandon after the ratification of this agreement all NLRB charges pending against Lionbridge and Microsoft.
We think this was a best effort and we hope you'll support it.
If you have any questions, email us or talk with the people who attended this meeting.
It was very generous of them to devote so much time of their week end to this negotiation and contribute key valuable suggestions.
Have a good week end.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A meeting this coming saturday July 30 with Lionbridge about "the potential for work force reductions"

Lionbridge is proposing a meeting with the union this coming saturday July 30 at 9AM in their office in the building across from the lab, Sterling Plaza, Suite 300.
Here is the initial text we received tuesday afternoon:

 Lionbridge has completed its review of the impact of the reduced volume of work it will be performing on the ACO project under the new contract with Microsoft.  As a result, we need to discuss the ultimate location of the ACO work, as well as the potential for work force reductions in Bellevue, and of course the time table for such actions.
We are available any time on Saturday, July 30. Please get back to me as soon as possible.

Please let us know if you want to attend. Lionbridge says that because their office will be closed, security would like to know the names of the people who will be coming for the Union.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Revisiting page 84 of the 2015 US employee handbook: what is/was our classification? what is/was our eligibility for paid time off and paid company holidays?

Have a closer look at page 84, Exhibit G - Paid Time Off of Lionbridge's 2015 US Employee Handbook. Remember that this document was supposedly sent to us on March 9, 2015. We write supposedly because none of the Tier1 employees we interviewed could find this email nor the handbook in their email archives nor did they remember having confirmed they had received it and read it.
Notice the distinction between HP (Hewlett Packard) and Non HP employees. 
If we are to believe the handbook, by that time 'all regular employees are eligible per the chart above'. Does that mean we should have been eligible for paid time off and paid company holidays as soon as March 9 2015 but were just not 'told' by Lionbridge?
Or were we excluded from this because we were are part of a unit that was/is unionized and in the process of collective bargaining? Why was this policy change never mentioned by the Lionbridge's representatives during the collective bargaining meetings?
What is our classification today as Tier1s in this unit? 
What was our classification on March 2015?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Seattle mayor proposes more paid leave for city employees with newborns, ill family members. What about Microsoft's suppliers in the Puget Sound area?

Read the article in the Seattle Times by Patricia Madej. The proposed plan would extend paid parental leave to 8 weeks (from the present 4 weeks):  "a move that coincides with a nationwide conversation on paid leave." Lionbridge Technologies adamantly refuses to join this conversation. At our last collective bargaining meeting when we asked about paid parental leave their attorney's shocked answer was "absolutley not!'. That's how out of touch and without empathy they are.
Since August 5, 2015 Microsoft provides at least 12 weeks of fully paid paid parental leave to it's 'direct' employees.
Fidelity Investments (the main Lionbridge shareholder) also has such a policy: 'Employees who give birth can take 16 weeks of fully paid Maternity Leave. Associates with a spouse/partner that gives birth, or who are adopting or fostering a child can take 6 weeks of fully paid Parental Leave.'
All Microsoft's suppliers should provide similar benefits. Fidelity Investments should care about how employees are treated in companies where they invest. We want to take hope in Satya Nadella's insistence on empathy, as expressed in this interview with Chicago Booth Magazine and other recent instances:
"When I’ve had my failures—when I’ve been impatient or not listened to someone—it was because I didn’t enlist my sense of empathy. Empathy helps me understand what others expect, what they need to succeed, and what the authentic ways are to communicate. We’re all  social beings. "
Seattle Councilmember M. Lorena Gonz├ílez said that she hopes to set an example for private companies. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Frustrating 4th of July: Paid holiday discrimination thanks to Microsoft and Lionbridge Technologies

 I have been working full time for Microsoft via their supplier Lionbridge Technologies for 4.5 years, since December 5 2011 when I was part of the first team in their app certification lab. I am still misclassified by Lionbridge as a 'temporary worker' because we had the audacity to vote for a union in September 2014. In January 2015, Lionbridge decided that after 9 months of full time employment, its temporary workers will be laid off or be 'converted' to 'regular' status with the corresponding benefits that include paid holidays. So what am I complaining about? There is an exception to this conversion scheme: if you happen to be represented by a union in the process of a collective bargaining negotiation, Lionbridge has decided this conversion does not apply to you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

After today's stand up: where is the raise? where is the classification as regular and the benefits that go with it?

It was sort of satisfying to hear that our  customer (Microsoft) appreciates our work and that the renewal of the contract with Lionbridge seems in good way. 
What was frustrating it is that while we have always been getting kudos for the quality of our work we have not received any pay raise since we started working in the lab four years ago and none was mentioned coming. 
The ruse that says it is because of the union is an attempt by Lionbridge to make people forget they never ever received a raise the previous years, even when there was no union. 
Lionbridge could perfectly well decide to give us a raise, as they decided to award us Microsoft's PTO requirement: the union will not 'object' and that raise would be immediately implemented. The same goes for the other benefits linked to the status of regular employee that should be ours since January 2015.
Instead of providing its excellent employees with a long due raise and the 'regular' classification, Lionbridge does not propose anything substantial and has not answered to the union's demand for a meeting to discuss the proposals we made on June 2d.
One more comment about a raise: is it normal that Lionbridge hired new Tier1s at $20 per hour while the very same Tier1s with years of experience who have been hired at $17 and $18 remain at this lower rate?
How long can they ignore such a gap? How long can they keep not giving any raise to people they congratulate for their good work?
Why isn't Microsoft requiring Lionbridge to give us a raise and all the benefits linked to a regular classification? It would be so easy for them to do. 
They only have to put it into the new contract that is being negotiated, as they did for the 15 days of PTO. 
A new contract without any raise would make a bitter mockery of the praises we heard today. 
Not the best way to keep us motivated in our new location with a new manager we hope will understand how we feel.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Assessing our compensation today

The law gives the union the right to know the compensation of each employee part of the represented unit.
We asked for an updated document including the most recent hires and here are some of the data we want to share with you as we want to make negotiating a pay raise part of the next collective bargaining meeting.
We are presently 34 Tier 1 employees.
Here are the various hourly pay rates and the number of people at each rate:
$23: 2
$22: 5
$21: 1
$20: 11
$19: 1
$18: 9
$17: 5

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Following up on the collective bargaining meeting of May 26: first draft of union's proposals

Find below a first draft of the proposals the union sent today to Lionbridge's attorney following the collective bargaining meeting of May 26.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

New location for the lab

Here is the message received from Susan Gillespie in our email box today at 1.47 PM right after I emailed their attorney after our stand up meeting.

"In response to changing business requirements of our client, the ACO team will move from the current Advanta space to a facility near the existing Lionbridge Factoria office in Bellevue. The team will move on June 9th and 10th with the intent of resuming full operational capacity on Monday June 13th.  

Our new work location will be:

Sterling Plaza II
3545 Factoria Blvd SE Suite 200
Bellevue, WA 98006

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lionbridge's 2016 first quarter

Read here Rory Cowan's presentation. What he says about Microsoft's contracts:
Microsoft, our largest client, remained stable year-on-year as we expected. And we won a number of new programs in growth segments such as Xbox and others. So, we’re expecting some very good growth in Q2 versus Q1. So, the account feels affirm this year just as we thought it would. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The collective bargaining meeting will be on Thursday May 26 at 3.30 pm

The collective bargaining meeting will be on Thursday 

May 26 at 3.30 pm

East Shore Unitarian Church

12700 SE 32nd Street

Bellevue, WA 98005-4317

Let us know if you want to attend.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lionbridge is proposing Thursday May 26 or Tuesday May 31 for the next collective bargaining meeting

Let us know the date you prefer and if you intend to attend.
As mentioned in the previous post, the meeting starts at around 3.30 PM and takes place at
East Shore Unitarian Church

12700 SE 32nd Street
Bellevue, WA 98005-4317

It's a five minutes drive from the office. We'll keep you posted. The more people attending, the better.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Collective bargaining meeting in the planning stage

We just received today a positive email from Tim O'Connell in response to our request for a collective bargaining meeting. Lionbridge is going to propose a few dates and we'll see what works for us. 
The meetings start at 3.30 PM and take place at

East Shore Unitarian Church
12700 SE 32nd Street
Bellevue, WA 98005-4317
It's a five minutes drive from the office. We'll keep you posted. The more people attending, the better. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Can you believe it? Since January 1, 2015 Lionbridge supposedly offered regular status (with corresponding benefits) to temporary workers having worked 9 months on a project

Since January 1, 2015 Lionbridge offered regular status (with corresponding benefits) to temporary workers having worked nine months on a project!
This is what I think I understood from an answer given by the HR Susan Gillespie during a questions and answers meeting attended by a dozen of Tier 1s that took place today around 12.30.
In a written answer to a question asked by Paul Shattuck (thank you Paul for asking) during a previous Q&A meeting she stated: "employees are converted from temporary status to regular employees after nine months of employment. That policy was put in place in January 2015, in response to the Federal Affordable Care Act. Again, though, Lionbridge was not allowed to unilaterally extend that policy to you and your peers since we were in bargaining with the union".
What prevented Lionbridge to incorporate this new policy into the first contract proposal they gave us in February 2015 instead of not offering any PTO and not offering in any way to modify the temporary status after nine months? What prevented Lionbridge to incorporate this within the final proposal they made in November 2015?
All the Tier 1s who patiently attended very frustrating collective bargaining meetings where Lionbridge systematically refused any change in this direction are certainly highly shocked by such an announcement and attitude. The contract that was rejected by a majority of the Tier1s in November did not include any such proposal while its presence would probably have changed the vote outcome. Making  such a proposal as soon as January 2015 would have drastically changed the process and the Tier1s could have immediately gained one whole year of benefits.
Susan Gillespie keeps trying to put the responsibility of the lack of implementation of this new policy on the union but of course only Lionbridge knew about this change and they never mentioned it as a possibility, quite the contrary.
As for now, we are immediately going to contact Lionbridge to renew the bargaining process about implementing this policy for our lab.
We hope a date can be set as soon as possible and that many of you will be able to attend.
Let us know of your comments and questions.
Take care
PS: Susan Gillespie mentioned the 2015 US Handbook that contained the new policy: we never saw this 2015 handbook while we did see handbooks in 2013 and 2014. Let us know if you had seen it.
Nota: The PTO allocated by Lionbridge to full time "regular' employees is as follow:
Up to 1 year: 14 days / 112 hours
1-2 years:      16 days /  128 hours
2-5 years:      20 days /  160 hours
5+ years:       25 days /  200 hours

The benefits provided by Lionbridge to ful ltime "regular" employees are as follows:
Company Life & Diasability: Yes
PTO: Yes 
Paid holidays: Yes
severance: Yes
401k: Yes
EAP: Yes
Breavement: Yes 
Jury Duty: Yes
LOA: Yes

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Unfair implementation of the PTO requirement? Reaching out to Microsoft Compliance Hotline

Colleagues working along us via a different supplier told us they would only be able to accrue PTO six months from now, that is  in October. We think this is a violation of the requirement and an attempt to deny those employees PTO that should start accruing right now. It's already shocking that all those suppliers waited until the very last moment to implement this requirement, they should not add insult to the injury by trying to abusively postpone even more this implementation. We have sent a complaint (see below) to Microsoft's Business Conduct and Compliance Team but 5 days later we have not received their answer yet (if ever). We have kept mentioning (for now) the name of this supplier. We'll keep you posted. The link to Microsoft's Integrity Hotline:

Dear Business Conduct and Compliance Team,
I am concerned that our colleagues working for the Microsoft App Certification Lab via the supplier XXXX  are being shortchanged as far as the implementation of the PTO requirement is concerned.
From what I have heard they been told (nothing written) that they would be able to start accruing some PTO in six months, in October 2016.
If that is the case, I think XXXX  is in breach of Microsoft requirement that should start to be implemented at the latest on April 1s as the deadline announced by Brad Smith on March 26 2015 was one year.
I am not sure our colleagues know about you nor would dare complain but I do because if what they say is true they are treated unfairly and they would be deprived of 6 months of PTO they should start accruing right away.
Thank you for your concern,
Philippe Boucher

Sunday, March 27, 2016

How Experis/Manpower will implement Microsoft's PTO requirement

Read below how Experis (Manpower) is going to start implementing on April 1st 2016 the Microsoft's requirement that was announced on March 26, 2015. Notice that the accruing will also only start at this date: you worked years for Experis, that will not count for anything. As for the public holidays Experis used to pay? They are now gone. You'll have to satisfy yourself with the 15 days of PTO. As for Manpower:  "In 2015, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the fifth consecutive year and one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible:": Most ethical, most admired, most trusted... indeed.

Subject: Experis Benefits update beginning April 1, 2016. Please read.
Experis has enriched your benefits plan for 2016 to become effective April 1, 2016.  These changes were announced by the Experis Corporate benefits team via email to your personal account on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.  Please be sure to review that message for full details and any action items.
What does this mean for you?  Some changes, of course.
Effective April 1, 2016 you become eligible to accrue 15 days of PTO (paid time off) when working a full year.  The time accrued can be used as you need:  personal/vacation time, sick days, weather and client/Experis closures (holidays  or other.)  We are also reducing the premiums  for health benefits and offering a mid-year add event if you wish to add Experis Health benefits.  The new PTO accrual rate is 10 hours each month, updated on the final day of the month. I have attached a document with the instructions for using PTO and the new health premium information for your review. 
See the FAQ below to clarify the program.
Q: When is the new plan effective?
A: April 1, 2016.
Q: How many total days of PTO will accrue? 
A: 15 PTO days will accrue in a year.
Q: What is the monthly accrual amount?
A:  10 hours per month, posted on the last day of the month.
Q: When can I use PTO?
A: PTO can be used for time off work, related to being sick, taking personal time/vacation and client holiday or other closures. 
Q: How do I use PTO? 
A: Consultants enter the non-billable hours for PTO into their Peoplesoft timesheets using the PTB code. (See attached Word doc for instructions.)
Q: What happens to holiday pay?
A:  Experis Holiday pay will not automatically be paid out moving forward.  You may use accrued PTO if you wish to be paid for client holiday closures. 
Q: Was I paid for the New Year holiday? 
A: Yes, you were automatically paid the New Year holiday if you were active at that time.  New Year’s was the last Experis holiday to be paid automatically for our Microsoft consultants.
Q: Am I allowed to use PTO before I accrue it (go into a negative balance?)
A: No, you are to use the available PTO balance already accrued in your monthly bank.
Q: Can I carry over my accrual balance from year to year?
A:  Yes
Q: Is there a maximum amount where PTO will stop accruing? 
A: Yes.  Monthly accruals will stop once the 120 hour maximum is reached.  You will not accrue any more PTO until the bank is reduced from 120 hours.
Q: Will unused PTO amounts be paid out at the time of termination?
A: Yes, any remaining balance in your PTO bank will be paid out at the time of termination.
Q: My end date is scheduled mid- month.  Do I still get the full 10 hour monthly accrual?
A: No, but you will get a pro-rated PTO credit.  Same answer for any new hires in a month....

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Microsoft and temps in ... 1997

From the Los Angeles Times of December 9, 1997, this article by Leslie Helm. Are things that different today?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Clarification about the annual performance review and pay raises

Today during the stand up meeting HR announced the annual performance review. While usually such review is linked to pay raises that's not the case with Lionbridge, especially for the Tier1s. We have heard about pay raises for the Tier2s in the past, never for any Tier1. We know some Tier1s asked for a raise and were laid off soon after and we know of Tier1s who repeatedly asked for raises but never got any, despite their excellent performance. Lionbridge's practice since the start of this lab has been to stick with the initial rate people were hired for and never give them a raise: people who started at $17 are still at $17 and people at $22 are still at $22. Of course since 2012 many prices have gone up, especially housing costs. That's why the union proposed a cost of living clause along with pay raises: Lionbridge did not want any of it as you can check from their proposal. Their attorney explained they were following the market and the market did no justify any pay raise. Maybe you read about studies showing salaries were up in our region (+5% in the last quarter of 2015): not for us. Meanwhile Lionbridge's financial results for 2015 are excellent, as they recently announced. Still, in face of Lionbridge persistent refusal of any raise, the reality for us, as demonstrated with the paid time off requirement, is that Microsoft is the market: only Microsoft can lift up our compensation (as they did in the past for some of their suppliers). Now if by miracle Lionbridge wanted to raise all Tier1 salaries or only a few, the union would obviously not object. HR sort of implied that no Tier1 could get a pay raise except via collective bargaining: been there, done that and Lionbridge's answer has been no pay raise for anybody. If they were to change their mind, the union would not object, even if the raises were selectively given to a few. You did get a raise partially thanks to our advocacy for paid leaves that had some influence on Microsoft's PTO decision. We keep pushing for more and who knows, maybe Bill Gates will put Melinda's preach into practice for Microsoft's suppliers employees?
As I close this clarification I want to suggest something those of you who have a 401k could do: I think it would be interesting if some of us were buying each at least one share of Microsoft stock, becoming therefore Microsoft's shareholders. Being shareholders we could, for instance, attend the annual meeting and express our wishes. It's called shareholder activism. Just an idea.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Melinda Gates expresses (once again) her support for paid parental leave: will it translate into a change of policy to require Microsoft's suppliers to provide paid parental leave?

In the 2016 Gates Foundation annual letter co-written by Bill and Melissa she states: "studies show that when fathers are able to take time off from paid work when their children are born, they spend more time with their kids and doing other kinds of housework for years to come. As a result, they form a stronger bond with their partners and children. That’s one reason why I think access to paid family and medical leave is so important for families."
It's too bad that despite Melissa's concern, a concern we assume is shared by Bill, Microsoft has done nothing (yet?) to make sure its suppliers provide paid parental leave to their employees. Last year Brad Smith announced an 'at least 15 days of paid time off policy". This is an improvement from not one day but this policy does not take into account the needs of new parents as there is no provision for paid parental leave!!! Bill could do the right thing and convince Microsoft to require a paid parental leave policy for their suppliers employees. Another improvement in terms of paid family leave would be to require the suppliers to offer the same paid public holidays leave as Microsoft does. That would bring 12 additional paid days to the people working for Microsoft who need it the most (as they are usually much less paid). That would be practicing what they preach.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lionbridge Announces FY 2015 Results With Revenue of $560 Million

"In 2015, we delivered our strongest financial performance in history with record revenue, ongoing margin expansion and record earnings despite currency and customer concentration headwinds," said Rory Cowan, CEO, Lionbridge.  "

Highlights for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2015 include:
  • Revenue of $140.8 million, an increase of $21.1 million, or 18% from the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • GAAP net income of $2.9 million or $0.05 per share, based on 62.5 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding. This compares to a GAAP net loss of $1.2 million or $0.02 per share in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted earnings of $9.8 million or $0.16 per share.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $11.8 million.
  • Acquired 1.2 million shares of its common stock in the quarter for an aggregate purchase price of $6.0 million as part of its new share repurchase program announced in November 2015. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Comparing paid parental leave at Microsoft and Lionbridge: 20 weeks to zero or 140 days to zero.

Screen shot 2016-01-23 at 4.51.55 PM
Watch this video produced by the Department of Labor that compares the paid maternity leave in the US and in Germany. Then replace the US by Lionbridge and Germany by Microsoft. In fact the difference is even greater between Lionbridge and Microsoft since Microsoft increased its paid maternity leave to 20 weeks (12 weeks for the fathers) while Lionbridge stayed where it was: at 0 day. How long can Microsoft tolerates such a shameful gap that is contrary to its proclaimed commitment to human rights?
Want to do something about it? It's easy if you happen to own one share (or more) of Microsoft's stock: join our corporate social responsibility initiative targeting Microsoft by (first) asking its Board of Directors to require its suppliers to immediately provide paid parental leave to their employees. We leave it up to you how long this paid parental leave should be. Did you note the emai? (and thank you to cc to us at temporaryworkersofamerica at

You don't own any Microsoft's stock? Ask Fidelity Investments that manages your Lionbridge 401k to buy one share for you. By the way, did you know that Fidelity Investments owns 10% of Lionbridge's stock? Do you want to write to Fidelity Investments CEO to ask her to invite Lionbridge board of directors to change its inhumane no paid parental leave policy?

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day @ Microsoft: Help end paid leave discrimination

2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day @ Microsoft: Help end paid leave discrimination

For 29 years Microsoft did not celebrate MLK .JR Day as a paid holiday. Then on August 5 2015, Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources announced Microsoft was adding MLK Day to its list of paid holidays. That would allow the employees to 'take time to recharge and invest in ways that are meaningful to them'.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Chronology 2016

January 3, 2016: Results of the 20 question survey about working conditions of Tier1 employees in the Windows App Certification Lab

January 4, 2016: Microsoft's temporary workers 3 wishes for 2016

January 18, 2016: Martin Luther King Jr. Day @ Microsoft: help end paid leave discrimination.

January 19, 2016: Letter to Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments that holds 10% of Lionbridge Technologies

January 19, 2016: Email to Sandi Peterson, new member of Microsoft Board of Directors (followed by letter)

January 25, 2016: SS-8 request to the IRS for Determination of Worker Status for Microsoft and Lionbridge

January 28, 2016: Comparing Microsoft's parental leave benefits with Lionbridge: 20 weeks to zero. Launch of a Corporate Social Responsibility campaign targeting FU companies (Family Unfriendly)

February 12, 2016: letter to Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation

February 13, 2016: email to John Stanton, new member of Microsoft Board of Directors 

March 6, 2016: Email to Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia (Episcopal Church) about a shareholder activism initiative toward Microsoft

March 8, 2016: Email contact with Paul Benz, Co-Executive Director of Fait Action Network about a shareholder activism initiative

March 12, 2016: Attending FAN meeting in Port Townsend

March 20, 2016: Email to Sister Judy Byron, Coordinator of the NorthWest Coalition for Responsible Investment (reminder on March 30) emails sent via IPJC (Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center) then directly on April 28.

March 21, 2016: Meeting with George Robertson, Chair, Board of Directors of the Diocesan Investment Fund for the Diocese of Olympia

March 23, 2016: Email to Josh Zinner, ED of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (reminder on March 30 and end of April)

March 24, 2016: Email from NLRB: they are still waiting for Microsoft answer to the joint employer charge. Expect it by the end of March, with their decision possibly by the end of April.

March 31, 2016: Panel member at the University of Washington screening of 'A day's work", documentary film about temp workers

April 5, 2016: Meeting with Karen Eaton, Deacon, Grace Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island

April 6, 2016: Email to Jeff Johnson, President Washington State Labor Council

April 12, 2016: Lionbridge HR Susan Gillespie has 'questions and answers' meeting with a few Tier1 employees where she informs them of a change in the temporary workers classification: after 9 months they become 'regular' employees, except in our unit because of the ongoing collective bargaining process. The same impossibility, according to her, applies to eventual pay raises.

April 13, 2016: Brief for the Board of Directors of the Diocesan Investment Fund for the Diocese of Olympia

April 22, 2016: Answer from the Board of Directors of the Diocesan Investment Fund for the Diocese of Olympia asking for FAN's decision, expressing preference for legislative action.

April 27, 2016: Paul Benz co-executive director of FAN refers us to Sister Judy Byron, Program Coordinator of the NorthWest Coalition for Responsible Investment (see March 20, 2016)

April 28, 2016: Email to Sister Judy Byron and Father Mike Crosby including link to Jessica Northall Ted presentation (Mike Crosby is with the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility that organizes shareholder activism)

May 2, 2016: Second Q&A meeting by Susan Gillespie where she confirms what she said on April 12. A Tier1 employee shares an email she sent to him about those issues.

May 2, 2016: Request for information about when and how the change of policy was decided and how employees were informed (or not).

May 26, 2016: Tenth collective bargaining meeting. Lionbridge announces the existence of a petition to decertify the union (in the context of Lionbridge's argument that no raises nor change in classification could happen because of the union and the bargaining process). Lionbridge conditions signing any contract agreement to the union dropping the charge of joint employment against Microsoft  and stop disparaging against Lionbridge and Microsoft.

May 30, 2016: The union files charges against Lionbridge for bargaining in bad faith and a request to block the decertification petition process.

June 13, 2016: Work starts in the new location, on Factoria blvd in Bellevue. This building is not part of Microsoft.

July 4, 2016: Frustrating 4th of July: Paid Holiday discrimination thanks to Microsoft and Lionbridge

July 5, 2016: Philippe Boucher resigns from Lionbridge
July 5, 2016: Meeting with Alfredo Silva, organizer with the International Association of Machinists (AIM), District Lodge 160

July 19, 2016: Microsoft loses its NLRB appeal in Washington DC to revoke the subpoena to produce their contract with Lionbridge. TWA is informed by mail on July 22.

July 26, 2016 : Lionbridge requests a collective bargaining meeting because of upcoming lay offs

July 30, 2016: A tentative agreement is signed to be submitted for ratification on August 3rd.

August 3, 2016: The agreement is ratified 30 to 1

August 4, 2016: TWA withdraws its NLRB charges against Microsoft and Lionbridge

August 4, 2016: Lionbridge reports Q2 results with record revenue of $143.8 million

August 12, 2016: First layoffs: 6 people decide to leave voluntarily and 6 people are laid off involuntarily.

September 21, 2016: Lionbidge announces the lab will be closed by the end of October and all 20 people laid off with 5 losing their jobs immediately. "Reason" given: 'business needs and adjusted volumes". That's less than 2 months after the collective agreement was signed (July 30) and ratified (August 3).

December 3, 2016: The lab in Bellevue closes down, 4 months after the ratification of the collective bargaining agreement.

December 12: Lionbridge announces it is going to be acquired by HIG Capital, a private equity investment form for about $360 million.

December 13, 2016: TWA files charges with NLRB against Lionbridge and Microsoft for unfair labor practices (bargaining in bad faith) and anti-union (retaliation) and again joint employment. Mentioned is the runaway doctrine where a company closes a site to move the work to non-unionized places.
References: Microsoft Corporation Case 19-CA-189881
Microsoft Corporation Case 19-CA-189865

Lionbridge Case 19-CA 189865, 189868

December 20. 2016: Panorama Global receives funding from a prominent US philanthropist (Melinda Gates?) to study how the private sector makes decisions regarding paid leave. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Microsoft's Temporary Workers 3 wishes for 2016

There are thousands of people employed by Microsoft via vendors (Microsoft has not divulged the exact number). Many of them are classified as 'temporary' although their initial contract can be extended for years. Vendors use the temporary (mis)classification as a way to deny basic benefits like any sort of paid leave. On March 26 2015, Microsoft announced it cared for the health and wellness of those workers and would therefore, within the next nine months, require  vendors to provide them with 'at least 15 days of paid time off per year'. 
How has this policy change be implemented, how many vendors and employees are concerned, how do they feel about it, are questions that remain unanswered. 

20 question survey about working conditions of Tier1s in the Windows App Certification Lab

This anonymous questionnaire was offered to all Tier1 employees after the vote rejecting the ratification of the tentative collective agreement. 13 answers (on 40) were submitted.

    1. Did you take part in the ratification vote?