Bargaining Update #3 – 10/30/2023

Snapshot Summary

  • Win! We agreed to 4 dates over the next 7 weeks! This is a huge improvement and a direct result of our Slack profile photo action.
  • Another win! We reached our first TA (tentative agreement) on the Preamble. This is a small win but our first step towards building this contract!
  • Union proposals: Health & Safety; Job Bidding & Transfers; Attendance; Lounge & Lockers; Seniority; Duration; Savings Clause; Fringe Benefits; Bargaining Unit Work & Contracting; time off for committee members for negotiations and caucus days.
  • TCGplayer proposals: Management’s Rights; Intent; Bargaining Unit Covered; Rules, Regulations, Policies & Procedures; No Strikes/No Lockouts; Bulletin Board; Non-Discrimination; Bargaining Unit Work.
  • Take action: We are launching a sign-on letter calling on management to do more to demonstrate good faith bargaining. Join your Bargaining Committee and coworkers by adding your name:

Full Report

On October 30th, we had our third bargaining session to continue negotiating our first contract. Our Committee for this session consisted of workers Bob Guy, Briana Thomas, Ethan Salerius, President of CWA local 1123 Chris Ryan, and CWA District 1 Area Director Debora Hayes.

Importantly, the TCGplayer representatives agreed to 4 bargaining dates over the next 7 weeks. That is double the rate of bargaining sessions thus far, and is a testament to our power—they would not have accepted this without us taking action. This tells us that our Slack profile picture action is working, and we were able to put enough pressure on them to finally agree to additional dates. If you haven’t changed your profile photo yet, do so now! When we all stand together, they know that they must commit to bargaining in good faith.

We were able to come to our first tentative agreement on the Preamble. This outlines the purpose of the contract as a whole and defines the two parties as the Employer and the Union. It’s a small win, but we’re excited to have the first piece of our contract in place.

Our Proposals

Our Union has put forward 10 new proposals during this session of bargaining. These proposals include: Health & Safety; Job Bidding & Transfers; Attendance; Lounge & Lockers; Seniority; Duration; Savings Clause; Fringe Benefits; Bargaining Unit Work & Contracting; time off for committee members for negotiations and caucus days.

  • Health & Safety: This proposal is intended to encourage the promotion of a safe and healthy workplace and outlines the process for reporting safety and health concerns. It also establishes that a joint committee will meet regularly to review any and all safety or health concerns.
  • Job Bidding & Transfers: For any job postings within the Bargaining Unit, jobs will be posted internally only, except in instances where there is no internal interest in the open position. These postings will be open for 14 days, all postings will be filled within 14 days of the close of the position, and all applicants will receive actionable feedback as to the reason(s) they were not awarded the position. Postings will be available 24/7 online, and there will be a dedicated Slack channel for notification of new job postings.
  • Attendance: The attendance proposal is built from the current attendance policy under eBay. It provides for employees to decide whether they apply PTO to unplanned missed time or take a full or partial occurrence. It also adds a provision to further protect employees from discipline for things out of their control such as inclement weather, car accidents, and medical emergencies.
  • Lounge & Lockers: This proposal protects our right to an onsite locker and use of all the break rooms and leisure spaces within HQ.
  • Seniority: Employee seniority date will be set at the most recent date of hire and will include time worked as a contractor, as well as time lost as a result of furlough or layoff. This ensures that time is restored to those who worked as a contractor through CPS and those affected by the Furlough/Layoffs in 2020.
  • Duration: This proposal is intended to set the duration of the contract and to create a mechanism for either side to request to bargain the next contract.
  • Savings Clause: If a provision within the contract is in contradiction with the law, the affected provision will be amended in accordance with the law and the rest of the contract will remain in full force and effect.
  • Fringe Benefits: Historically provided fringe benefits such as Cake Hang, Brunch and Brew, Magic Hour, Holiday parties, etc., will continue to be provided to the Bargaining Unit so long as they are provided to non-union employees. Any new Fringe benefits that are provided to non-union employees will be provided equally to the Bargaining Unit.
  • Bargaining Unit Work & Contracting: This proposal limits the ability for anyone outside of the Bargaining Unit to perform any Bargaining Unit work, including but not limited to outside contractors and supervisors or other non-union employees, and requires the advance notice and bargaining over any intent to hire contractors or temporary workers within the Bargaining Unit.
  • Our last proposal is intended to ensure that Bargaining Committee members have unpaid time off, without needing to deplete accrued PTO, for the purposes of bargaining sessions and Union caucus days for bargaining prep.

Management’s Proposals

Management’s proposals were very similar to last session’s proposals. They reiterated their egregious Management’s Rights article; their overarching Intent article; their broad Rules, Regulations, Policies & Procedures article; and their overly restrictive No Strikes/No Lockouts article. They also proposed a Bulletin Board article, countered our Non-Discrimination proposal, and proposed their own Bargaining Unit Work article. Below are some of the highlights from their articles, including the reasons why we were unable to come to an agreement on them as presented.

  • Intent: Their intent article seeks to force employees to perform at their highest efficiency and productivity and establishes a zipper clause that prevents Bargaining Unit employees from receiving any benefit not specifically outlined in the final contract. Our position is that the Intent article should simply outline the intent of the contract as an agreement between the Employer and the Union on conditions of employment, and to promote a working and equitable relationship between the parties.
  • Management’s Rights: This list of 29 items that management wishes to retain their exclusive right to control is largely unacceptable as written. As we stated in our last report, we refuse to sign away any rights that we have to bargain. We intend on having proposals for the vast majority of the items on the list, and believe that it would be more prudent to return to this list after we have crossed many of the items off with other proposals. This article also doubles down on their intent to refuse to provide any additional benefits that are not expressly outlined in the contract regardless of whether the benefit is provided to other eBay and/or TCGplayer employees.
  • Rules, Regulations, Policies & Procedures: This proposal largely states that the Company reserves the right to operate its business as it sees fit without regard to the Union or the impacts to our Unit. While this article is something that is common in final contracts, their proposal is very broad and all-encompassing. We will counter with something much more reasonable.
  • No Strikes/No Lockouts: We have already rejected this proposal as written. We refuse to agree to an article that signs away our rights to protected concerted activity under the law.
  • Bulletin Board: They proposed an article allowing a bulletin board for Union communications. We will counter with something that cleans up the language a little bit.
  • Non-Discrimination: They proposed a more robust non-discrimination article that we initially proposed at the first session. Aside from cleaning up some of the language, we’re looking forward to coming to a tentative agreement on non-discrimination.
  • Bargaining Unit Work: Their proposal on Bargaining Unit work provided a lot more instances of when they can give Bargaining Unit work to non-union employees, such as pandemics, states of emergency, and covering peak work loads. We have already made our proposal on this and will wait for a response from them.

While we are excited to make some progress, we still have a long road ahead of us. It’s imperative now more than ever for us to stand together to show the Company that we demand good faith bargaining, admonish stall and delay tactics, and will do whatever it takes to win our first contract. We are launching a sign-on letter calling on management to do more to demonstrate good faith bargaining. Join your Bargaining Committee and coworkers by adding your name:

Upcoming Dates

  • 11/2–11/3: Unit Clarification Hearings
  • 11/6–11/7: Unit Clarification Hearings
  • 11/16: Bargaining Session
  • 11/19: Members’ Meeting
  • 11/28: tentative Bargaining Session
  • 12/7: Bargaining Session
  • 12/17: Members’ Meeting
  • 12/18: Bargaining Session