Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Forced to Sweeten Terms For Outsource Labor

Microsoft Campus
A building on the Microsoft Headquarters campus is pictured July 17, 2014 in Redmond, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the latest major technology company battling contract labor issues. The company has been forced to ask its contract partners to improve benefits for their employees. Dozens of bug tester working for Microsoft through an outsourcing company known as Lionbridge kicked off the campaign for improved benefits.

The nearly 38 contract employees that came to work for Microsoft as bug tester through Lionbridge do not get perks like paid maternity or vacation leave. However, these workers are on the job full-time and perform what can be termed as “substantial work”.

To try and push for improved perks, the workers formed a union, but their employer Lionbridge didn’t seem to heed their call. As such, the workers turned their attention to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hoping that it will be able to force their employer to do something about the requests they are making.

Pushing for benefits reform

Some of the efforts that Lionbridge employees working at Microsoft have tried including making a plea to the board of Microsoft while highlighting their plight. The workers’ union has also published materials including blogs and e-books to try and bring out the challenges they face.

Signs of success

The massive campaign for paid leave put up by the union of the bug testers is beginning to show signs of success. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently made an announcement that it would require its contract partners to give their employees at least a few days of paid off in a year. According to Microsoft, contract workers who perform substantial work should be able to get not less than 15 days of paid leave every year. At Microsoft, entry-level workers employed directly by the company get at least 25 days of paid off a year.

The step by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to announce need for changes on how contractors handle their employees came after careful evaluation of certain factors, the company disclosed. At this point, Microsoft works with over 2,000 contract companies in areas that range from legal counsel to food service.

Many companies today outsource a range of jobs including tasks like coding, customer support, chip design and more.