Bargaining Update #14 – 4/5/2024

Snapshot Summary

  • Takeaways: This session covered recent FMLA policy changes and new proposed changes to AC workflow by eBay’s bargaining team. While we were unable to reach any new tentative agreements, progress was made on several items. 
  • Workplace Issues: We demanded the company cease its new FMLA enforcement, which they refused. The company also has yet to fully comply with our information request about the new cameras and security measures and policies.
  • Upcoming Sessions: April 29–30, May 20–21; We have added new dates to our outstanding requests for additional bargaining dates for May.
  • Union proposals: Overtime
  • TCGplayer proposals: Open Bargaining Unit Positions, Bulletin Boards, Visitation, Attendance

Full Report

On April 5th, 2024, we had our fourteenth bargaining session for our first contract. Our team for this session included Briana Thomas, Ethan Salerius and Bob Guy, as well as staff reps Mike Garry and Deb Hayes. While this had been intended to be a two-day session, the first day was canceled as a result of scheduling conflicts on the side of eBay’s bargaining team. While it is disappointing that we missed the opportunity to engage in a longer session, we were still able to engage in some productive discourse and pass several proposals across the table.

As our day at the bargaining table was getting started, our coworkers on the floor protested the recent changes to FMLA policy by engaging in a collective 15 minute break, walking off the floor together to gather briefly in the castle lobby. This was a strong action to demonstrate that we understand well that this issue is an affront to our entire bargaining unit whether or not we currently rely on job-protected leave provided by FMLA. An injury to one is an injury to all—we could all easily end up in a position where we could be affected by this policy change, and by disrespecting the bargaining process eBay and TCGplayer leadership are disrespecting their workers.

Coinciding with the action at work, we started today’s session by addressing the ongoing changes to FMLA policy and enforcement. We reiterated our demand that the company immediately cease and desist this change to our working conditions and to bargain over the effects of such changes. The company’s position is that these changes were communicated in advance, though this does not adequately address the fact that it is a unilateral change in enforcement which not only constitutes a status quo violation but undermines the trust and respect of our ongoing bargaining relationship. The company refused our demand to bargain on the matter. Despite the company’s stubbornness, we will continue to work to address this issue at the bargaining table and beyond.

eBay’s bargaining team brought several proposed changes to workflow and procedures in the AC, including a proposed second shift focused on pulling for the purposes of cabinet optimization, as well as a dedicated mail room team. We used this opportunity to give a large amount of feedback on these new changes, and will continue to center this in future sessions to ensure the effects of these changes to our unit are not harmful to our membership.

After these discussions, we moved into the day’s proposals. eBay’s team had four proposals, several of which we engaged with and countered in the second half of the day. We were prepared with a counter to their article on overtime, and have several proposals ready to go on various types of unpaid leave that are waiting on outstanding information requests to eBay. While we made some progress on all of these issues, we were unable to reach any new tentative agreements.

Our Proposals

  • Overtime: eBay’s most recent proposal on overtime contained elements that are completely unacceptable to many members of our Union, such as mandatory overtime. Our proposal today removed any such provision. TCGplayer has never in its history had to resort to mandatory overtime to meet its business needs, and we see no cause that would change in the foreseeable future. We made some changes to what types of time off are considered for OT calculations, and kept the maximum OT limit introduced in the previous proposal. eBay’s team did not counter this proposal, or engage in discussion with us about this issue.

Management’s Proposals

  • Open Bargaining Unit Positions: This latest proposal includes the ability for our members to access Workday remotely, instead of requiring people to spend unpaid time on-site at the AC to apply for internal positions. Unfortunately, the company’s position here continues to disregard seniority entirely for the purpose of role selection. Until we reach agreement on seniority and its applications, we remain unable to TA this article.
  • Bulletin Boards: After much back and forth on this, eBay’s team finally agreed to two bulletin boards, in the first and third floor breakrooms. After passing it multiple times at this session, we appear to have cleared up the company’s willingness to allow us to make posts on Slack, and may need to draft digital communications as a separate article to address this. We are otherwise close to reaching a TA on this proposal.
  • Visitation: The company has given us some ground on notification windows for CWA staff visits, though their language continues to be highly restrictive in terms of the access given and the manner in which such visitors would be handled. We maintain that anyone from our Union who is not a TCGplayer employee be treated with the same dignity and respect that any other business visitor would be afforded, and that isn’t something we are willing to negotiate on. Further caucus is required to bring this proposal in line with eBay’s current non-employee visitation policy.
  • Attendance: This proposal changed some details around leave for weather related site closure, as well as clarification around the language used for progressive discipline for attendance issues. We continue to maintain that our unit needs additional flexibility in choosing when to use their PTO, so our counter to this proposal asks to allow employees to choose PTO or to take an occurrence if they have missed 50 percent or less of a shift. eBay’s team indicated they would need time to respond to this version of the proposal.

Upcoming Dates

  • 4/21: April Members’ Meeting
  • 4/29: Bargaining Session
  • 4/30: Bargaining Session
  • 5/19: May Members’ Meeting
  • 5/20: Bargaining Session
  • 5/21: Bargaining Session
  • 6/23: June Members’ Meeting