Agency Worker Organizes Pay Cut Peaceful Protest

The movement is proceeding. Although we did not organize this directly (msratecuts.org) it is good to see that people are working towards improving conditions. Please note that this effort is considered protected concerted activity under the National Labor Board.

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law guaranteeing that right – and will protect you if your employer takes negative action, such as harassment, threats to layoff, or discipline, for discussing organizing a biometric gun safe in your workplace. Under the NLRA Act of 1947, all workers have “the right to self-organization, to form, to join, or assist labor organizations.” Furthermore, the same act states that employers are not allowed to “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7.”

When: Occurs every weekday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM effective 3/2/2009 until 3/13/2009. (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Where: Microsoft Sign at 156th Ave & 40th St., Redmond

Dear fellow MS contractor,

As I am sure you are aware Microsoft has put into place an immediate and mandatory 10%+ rate cut that is being passed down to us all through our contract agencies effective now or in the very near future. If you feel this is unfair and a breach of contract, as I do, I encourage you not to agree to these new contract terms. By uniting as valuable people who work at Microsoft we can show our concern and force an alternate course of action.

The first step in forming an alliance and uniting contract workers at Microsoft is for us to meet and discuss our concerns. For this, I have scheduled a peaceful protest at the corner of 156th Ave. and NE 40th St. from 6pm-8pm every day. I will be there every day, I hope you will too…but even just showing up one of the days is helpful and is a strong symbol of our concerns.…

Update: Volt Forces Employee’s to Sign a Contract

Dear Volt Employees Assigned to Microsoft,

Every day when we read a newspaper or watch television, we hear about how the economy is experiencing considerable turmoil. Unemployment rates are at a 17 year high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted 40% over the last 6 months. Many companies are faced with office closures, layoffs, and deep cost containment initiatives throughout corporate America and globally. Volt Workforce Solutions is not immune to these activities or their effects.

Microsoft, as a trailblazer in the information technology industry, has positively stimulated the economy for years. Notwithstanding, we all have to look at the economic conditions that currently surround us. At the request of Allegis/Microsoft we will participate in some key cost containment initiatives that include a reduction in billing for all current Volt Agency Temporary Workers (a-) assigned to Microsoft, effective March 16, 2009. In response to the cost containment initiatives, your Volt Employee Relations Representative or a Volt Representative will begin scheduling appointments with each of you to discuss how this impacts you.

We have evaluated all pay rates for our Microsoft agency temporary workers and have concluded that we will be asking each of you to share in these measures by accepting a 10% reduction in your pay rate. These reductions are very difficult for Volt to implement since we value each and every one of you; however this is mandatory in order to continue your assignment at Microsoft and to respond to this economic environment.

We want to support you in continuing your assignment at Microsoft and respectfully ask that you respond by going to the upper left hand corner of this email under the ‘Vote’ response option and select, ‘Accept’ by close of business Tuesday, March 3, 2009. By accepting you agree to the pay adjustment in your pay rate. Volt has prepared a formal written amendment to your employment agreement for your signature and will execute this amendment in your scheduled meeting.

We sincerely ask for your understanding in this matter. Please be advised that if any other changes do occur, we will notify you as soon as possible. If you would like clarification about this message, please email [email protected] Please do not discuss this with your Microsoft manager, as they have been instructed to direct you to your employer (Volt) for clarification.

In closing, the world is struggling and we are challenged to consider the economy as a whole and what is happening beyond our own current situation. Please know that even though we are in an economic crisis, we will continue to work hard to identify new opportunities for employment as well as offer competitive pay for the advancement of your career.

Thank you and your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated,

Volt Workforce Solutions…

Microsoft pay rate cuts lower contractors gross income

Purpose:

The purpose of this site is to organize and activate a grassroots movement within the Microsoft Contractor employee pool to help thwart off illegal compensation adjustments.  This organization of CSG staff will put pressure on vendor firms to re-think their stance on the recently announced rate cuts in employee pay.  To start I have set up an online petition which can be found on the petition tab of this page. In the effort of organizing this effort, I ask for your help, as this cannot possibly be achieved by one person. To effectively alter the course of action of the vendor firms and contracting agencies, sufficient pressure MUST be applied, in so much that there arises a ‘good business reason’ to alter their course.

Overview of the Issue:

Microsoft Corp. is cutting the rates it pays its temporary staffing agencies by 10 percent, the Seattle P-I has learned.

As part of a plan to cut spending on contingent staff by up to 15 percent, Microsoft notified all of its temporary staffing agencies last week that it was reducing its bill rates by 10 percent.

At least one agency, Aditi Staffing, is passing the cuts on to employees, who will make less per hour effective Saturday.

“As a result of this mandatory change by Microsoft, it has unfortunately become necessary for us to make salary adjustments for all workers on assignment at Microsoft,” according to an Aditi Staffing memo to employees this week, which the P-I obtained.

The Reasons We NEED to Act:

  1. This incident will discourage quality talent from applying for CSG positions in the future thus lowering the overall product quality at Microsoft.
  2. The nature of forced renegotiation of a contracted pay rate creates a precedent for vendor companies to lower contract rates mid-term in the future thus an employee may start at 50$ / hr and possibly end at 10$ an hour. If the companies are not held to their word on pay rate it opens the door in the future for this to occur on a larger scale
  3. Upholding the contract is the responsibility of BOTH the contractor (CSG) and the vendor company.
  4. In a time where people are being laid off, a pay cut for some is the same as being laid off. For some almost being able to pay rent just isn’t enough.

Action:

This constitutes an adjustment of contract rate adjustment in terms of service which is ILLEGAL. Our actions related to this injustice will include the following:

  • Online petition presented to the various vendor companies urging a change in course
  • Quiet protests including Sit outs, ‘I am a Contractor’ T-Shirt Day and the like. (Suggestions?)
  • Legal consultation with labor law firms in an effort to determine legal precedent.
  • Legal action (Scope of which TBD)
  • Other (Help with ideas please)

Image Source is this article from Gunsafeguide.net