Monday, April 27, 2015

Lionbridge Technologies, Temporary Workers of America and the National Labor Relations Board

Since August 2013, Lionbridge Technologies has been charged by TWA and investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in four cases concerning violations of the employees rights to organize.
Our first NLRB charge against Lionbridge was filed in August 2013, when Marilyse was fired the day after she had expressed collective demands for benefits during a meeting where the management had encouraged the participants to say what they wish as improvements. Six months later, NLRB ruled in Marilyse's favor: her rights to organize had been violated. Lionbridge's attorney approached her for a settlement. Marilyse negotiated and accepted because she did not want to return to work at Lionbridge and it was financially better for her. In exchange she dropped the charge and Lionbridge now says they were never found guilty of anything but we know better.
During the process of Marilyse's investigation, NLRB also found that Lionbridge included within their annual handbook to be signed by each employee, confidentiality clauses that were too extensive and in violation of the employees rights to organize. Lionbridge was obliged to rewrite the clauses, send an email to every employee, past and present, affirming the employees rights to organize and Lionbridge commitment not to interfere with those rights and post a notice about this commitment for every worker to see and read.
After Philippe Boucher published on October 2014, his little e-book The Other Microsoft, where Lionbridge was never mentioned by name and where it was clearly stated this writing was part of a protected activity to improve our working conditions, Lionbridge gave him, in November 2014, a disciplinary warning that he contested, arguing it was a violation of our rights to organize. NLRB ruled in our favor and the procedure is still ongoing as Lionbridge has not yet said if they intend to accept or contest this decision.
After having asked Lionbridge repeatedly via formal 'requests for information' during the collective bargaining process for the hourly rate paid by Microsoft and for access to the content of the contract between Microsoft and Lionbridge, information considered by the union as essential for effective bargaining, Lionbridge never complied: that led to a charge for bargaining in bad faith filed in February 2015 that is still under investigation.
Not a great record for Lionbridge as far as respecting employees rights to organize.

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