Thursday, August 17, 2017

Meeting with Lionbridge Counsel about an eventual settlement of the Unfair Labor Practices and Joint Employment NLRB charges

On July 24, 2017 we received an email from Lionbridge's counsel, Tim O'Connell about the possibility of a settlement that would include a withdrawal of the NLRB charges we filed against Lionbridge and Microsoft in December 2016. Yesterday, Tuesday August 15, a meeting took place with him in Stoel Rives Seattle's office. Mr. O'Connell explained that Lionbridge was considering offering preferential re-hiring to ex-Tier1s employees. He mentioned 4 ex-Tier1s had already been rehired so maybe others could join them provided they meet the necessary qualifications for the new positions. We mentioned that our own outreach had not brought a lot of interest or support  for this re-hiring offer from the union members who replied to us but it was certainly worth considering along with what the TAA program can bring. Meanwhile we explained that we felt withdrawing the Unfair Labor Practices and Joint Employment charges filed against Lionbridge and Microsodft, that we are taking very seriously, would require from Lionbridge significant compensation for the ex-Tier1s employees who were impacted by those practices. We agreed to meet again within the next weeks with a proposal for Lionbridge. Mr O'Connell explained that the new Lionbridge owners wish to "move on" and put an end to the dispute. The Union was created to obtain basic key benefits (paid public holidays, paid vacation, paid sick leave, paid parental leave, better pay, health insurance) that were not provided to the Tier1s  under the pretext they were 'temporary' workers (even after more than 9 months or years of presence) and not 'regular' employees. While we finally obtained some paid time off at the end of 2015 (thanks to Microsoft's new requirements for its suppliers) we still worked for many years (the lab was open on December 5, 2011) without key benefits we should have received and without any pay raise. We want to obtain compensation for those years. We'll keep you informed about the evolution of this discussion.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Find out if you are eligible for Trade Adjusting Assistance (TAA)

 TAA (Trade Adjusting Assistance) is a training assistance offered by the Department of Labor to workers who are considered eligible because they lost their jobs because of outsourcing outside of the US. 
We had started a certification procedure in February and we learned recently that the Tier1s laid off after our bargaining agreement were considered eligible for such assistance. 
There are restrictions to this offer: if you have already found a better job than the one you had with Lionbridge I don't think you can apply but if not, If you are still unemployed or if you are 'less' employed than with Lionbridge you could be eligible for help.
I cannot be more precise at this point as I am not a TAA specialist but each of you should be contacted and offered this opportunity by the Washington State Department of Labor.
The union would like to know if/when you are contacted (to check that it does happen) and what if anything is offered to you (to evaluate the value of the TAA program). Hope this help those of you who can use it and please let us know if/how it works for you.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chronology 2017

January 23, 2017: The American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution launch a joint blog project: Paid family leave: an issue whose time has come

February 8, 2017: Newly created group, Pay + Leave USA launches its paid leave campaign targeting Starbucks discriminatory policies.

February 16, 2017: TWA files a petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). TAA is a federal program that assists US workers who lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade, like when the worker's firm has shifted provision of services to a foreign country. "This program seeks to provide affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources and support necessary to become reemployed."

February 22: Article in the Seattle Times by Sandi Doughton confirming Melinda Gates concern for paid leave via her personal executive office organization, Pivotal Ventures.

March 1, 2017: Lionbridge's shareholders approve acquisition by HIG Capital.

May 16, 2017: Microsoft announces 'landmark partnership' with the UN Human Rights Office but still does not implement paid family leaves nor paid public holidays for its suppliers employees in the US, contrary to existing UN and ILO conventions.

May 20, 2017: New report by PL+US about The Haves and Havenots of paid family leave in the US.

May 22: Lionbridge and Microsoft file petitions to oppose NLRB's subpoena requesting they communicate contents of their contracts and other documents about the layoffs

July 6, 2017: Department of Labor’s Determination of Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance is communicated to TWA. It was signed on June 30.

July 20, 2017: Lionbridge announces the nomination of a new CEO, John Fennelly, effective July 24.

July 24, 2017: Email from Lionbridge's counsel, Tim O'Connell, about the possibility of a settlement that would include a withdrawal of the NLRB charges.

August 15, 2017: Meeting between Union representatives Philippe Boucher and √Čric Osnes and Tim O'Connell, Lionbridge's Counsel to discuss an eventual settlement of the ULP and joint employment charges.