The Temporary Workers of America said 15 of about 20 unionized employees of Lionbridge Technologies will be laid of this week, with the rest of the jobs cut at the end of October.
A group of Microsoft contractors employed by Lionbridge Technologies will be laid off in the coming weeks, its union says, just two months after signing its first collective-bargaining contract.
The Temporary Workers of America said on its website that the manager in charge of the Lionbridge unit in Bellevue said last week that the union’s entire membership would be laid off.
About 15 of the roughly 20 unionized employees in the group will be let go on Wednesday, the union said, with the rest laid off at the end of October.
Some layoffs will also fall on nonunion Lionbridge workers, as well as some management employees, according to an email from a Lionbridge manager posted on the union’s website.
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Lionbridge, based in Waltham, Mass., said in the email to employees that the layoffs were “based on business needs and adjusted volumes.”
Sara Buda, director of investor relations at Lionbridge, confirmed the contents of the email. The layoffs were a result of less demand for the group’s services, she said, and the company could rehire some employees if that changes.
The workers at the lab, employed for years to vet the content of Microsoft Windows applications written in other languages, voted to form a union in late 2014.
It was a rare victory for organized labor in a technology industry seen as hostile to unions, and comes amid a sometimes contentious relationship between Microsoft and the tens of thousands of contractors employed on the company’s behalf.
Contentious bargaining talks between Lionbridge and the union stalled, with the union at one point asking federal regulators to find that Microsoft was in fact a joint employer, and must come to the bargaining table.
Microsoft denied any direct ties to the union employees.
Lionbridge offered a renewed contract proposal in July, saying layoffs were imminent because of less work coming from Microsoft, the group’s only client. Union members in July voted overwhelmingly to approve a collective-bargaining contract that included a raise and severance for those who would be laid off.
As a condition of the deal, the union agreed to drop its joint-employer charge against Microsoft.
In its post, the union said it was considering its options, including, potentially, an arbitration process specified by the bargaining agreement.