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.

Text of the email received by the employees on September 22
"I wanted to follow-up on the announcement during the stand-up yesterday.

Based on business needs and adjusted volumes we will be further reducing the size of our Bellevue team. Unfortunately this means a portion of the team will have their positions eliminated and be let go effective next Wednesday, and the remaining Tier 1’s, Tier 2’s and some site leadership will be leaving as of the end of October. At this time, we anticipate that the remaining team in Bellevue will consist of about 5 team members, but this could change at any time depending upon customer or business needs.

If anyone would like to volunteer to be included in the reduction, please send your request to me by Monday, September 26th at 10am PST. Once we have our list confirmed, we will notify each team member of his or her scheduled departure date.

Per the bargaining agreement, we will utilize quarterly reviews to determine who will be let go this month vs. the end of October. Those outside the bargaining unit will be determined by tenure. All parties will be paid out for any accrued unused PTO, and will be eligible for severance provided they continue to work through the date that we have communicated as their last date of employment.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you.



  1. How did you all think that squeezing your employer by threatening not to work was going to improve your situation? Unions are for thugs and jerks. haha

  2. Such an ignorant comment but we leave it as an expression of this type of misconception: there was NEVER any consideration of a strike. The union did manage to improve the situation and not only for the people in this lab as Microsoft changed its paid time off requirement for all its suppliers after the union raised the awareness about this issue. As for your remark about thugs and jerks, it's insulting the people who voluntarily voted in favor of having an union and also approved the agreement 30 to 1. The thugs are not to be found in our corner. Laughing at people losing their jobs the way it's happening denotes a nice character. I am sure readers will appreciate it for what it is.

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