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Lionbridge Case: Firm admits it didn't bother to check facts

category poland / czech / slovakia | workplace struggles | news report author Thursday August 14, 2008 01:03author by Pantera Report this post to the editors

Stop unfair dismissal and discrimination!

Today in Warsaw labour court was second part of case against Lionbridge company, which unfairly dismissed unionist Jakub G. in february this year. Firm claims that Jakub took and published the company's secrets on this portal in January short time after Jakub announced to them that the workers made a trade union in Polish office of that firm.

Case started with judge's recommendation to make a compromise and agree the case. Jakub did not agree to firm's proposition. He states that the arguments firm made to fire him aren't true at all and demands to go back to work.

Two witnesses spoke in court today. L. made testimony about where information for the article came from on the internet. She stated that she gave all evidence that this information was public to the Lionbridge firm and to the court. Firm claims that information about income of Lionbridge is not public and must be stolen. L. states it is available information and told where it is from. Woman from Lionbridge human resources made testimony, too. Jakub's side asked if Lionbridge company read the explanation that was given to the firm with proofs of publications of information on the internet. These proofs were given to them one day after first accusations to Jakub. Lionbridge company said that they did not even look at these proofs because they considered it not important!!!

It means that firm made a wrong accusation and when worker tried to explain the situation, they didn't check or try to prove or see if this worker was innocent or guilty - they just fired him. So workers of Lionbridge can now see that company doesn't care what your explanation is, they fire people without proofs and do not let the employees to defend.

Lionbridge firm also claims Jakub sent the confidential information to his private mail box. As a "proof" they give titles of a couple emails Jakub sent to his own email. For example, one email he said is not the company business, just article from newspaper. Lawyers asked what company claims is subject in these emails. Company said it is not the policy to read the emails! It is very strange indeed. Company Lionbridge admitted in the court they didn't read the emails either, but they state they are sure they contain confidential informations! How are they "sure"? They don't say it. They only say it is impossible that another person (L.) can know how much Lionbridge firm makes because only employees of Lionbridge could know that. Jakub asked who of employees did company give that information. Firm said only a few managers and such types of people got this information. Lionbridge did not say Jakub was one of the people who got this information. L. brought to court the newspaper from this week with the information about Lionbridge income.

In end, Lionbridge still gave no proof that the reason they gave for dismissal of Jakub was true. Human resources woman tried to make scare about Jakub and his political ideas but this was not reason of dismissal and the discrimination of people on political basis is not legimitate ground for dismissal.

Case will continue in october.

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author by Redpublication date Thu Aug 14, 2008 02:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What do you mean that Lionbridge didn't look at the proof? I got lost here. Could you clarify this?


author by Panterapublication date Thu Aug 14, 2008 04:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lionbridge company said that secret information was published on this web page in article about Lionbridge (Globalization of Low Wages). Company sent letter first with intention to dismiss Jakub but didn't say what secret information they mean. Lionbridge received answer saying where the information came from on the internet. All links to all information was given in the letter. This letter was attached as evidence in the case by Lionbridge but in the court they made testimony that they did not check this information, whether it was true or not, before they dismissed Jakub. This was more than 6 months ago. They had time to check this.

If they didn't check, they are awful firm which accuse the people falsely and don't check the proofs of what they accuse. For me it looks like they make the cleaning in the firm of anybody who can organize the workers and then later try to find any accusation. They probably know it's not true what they said.

author by Orlandopublication date Thu Aug 14, 2008 07:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will another round of solidarity demonstrations help?

author by Laurepublication date Thu Aug 14, 2008 19:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You can contact about solidarity .

I would just like to point out that we shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger issue here.

The company made a case against an individual and in the Poland office have given this a political overtone. As people focus on this as an individual case, this is a distraction from the larger issues.

Many Lionbridge workers in Europe follow what it going on and have heard the last two conference calls, read the transcripts or are reading the press. They know that “reducing currency risk” is corporate talk meaning that “costs”, which include themselves, got higher in Europe relative to the dollar and that the company plans to shut down, merge, restructure and downsize in Europe. The question then is, do they think that they can organize themselves to protect their interests as best they can, or do they accept the logic of the globalized market which demands lower and lower labour costs and are they willing to go in this direction?

Then the next question for them is what the obstacles are, which ways can corporations act towards workers, what methods to they use to discourage organization and how they can be avoided or prevented.

Ig any of the workers haven’t read this, they should:
They should also listen to the latest conference call.

Of course most of the translation work in Lionbridge is done by freelancers who have fewer possibilities to organized. Now, one of the strategies the company has with offices that it wants to close is to introduce telework for some “highly-valued” employees. In the future this will mean that they also will have no daily physical contact with their co-workers. This can be viewed as some type of corporate spatial deconcentration. A much larger question is about the implications of a spatially deconcentrated workforce and how they may organize themselves so that work isn’t always a marketplace of individuals competing in a race to the bottom.

author by CWpublication date Fri Aug 15, 2008 03:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another article:

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