Bargaining Update #9 – 1/26/2024

Snapshot Summary

  • Big Win! We were able to reach tentative agreements on four proposals: Good Standing, Health & Safety, Lockers, and Personnel Files. 
  • We discussed open issues such as safety issues with the elevators and Authentication Center, changes to accommodations, the installation of new security cameras, and COVID policy.
  • Neither side exchanged new proposals, however, we did discuss several open proposals such as Non-Discrimination, Progressive Discipline, Seniority, Layoff & Recall, and Attendance.

Full Report

On January 26th, we had our ninth bargaining session to continue negotiating our first contract. Our Committee for this session consisted of workers Ethan Salerius, Briana Thomas, and CWA Staff Representative Debora Hayes.

We opened the session by raising several open issues that affect the bargaining unit such as the new security cameras, safety issues in the AC, and accommodations issues. We requested information about the new security cameras in the third floor hallways. The installation of those cameras is a change to the conditions of our labor, so we are entitled to bargain the effects of those new cameras on the bargaining unit.

We gave the company's bargaining team six counter proposals including Non-Discrimination, Progressive Discipline, Good Standing, Health & Safety, Seniority, and Layoff & Recall. We also put forward one new proposal: Personnel Files. 

At the end of the session we signed tentative agreements on 4 items: Good Standing, Health & Safety, Lockers, and Personnel Files. While we are happy to have reached these tentative agreements, the Bargaining Committee firmly believes that these tentative agreements could and should have been reached much sooner.

In order to get our first contract, we still need the active support of our members! If you haven’t signed our Unity Pledge, follow this link to let TCGplayer and eBay know that you stand with your Bargaining Committee, and that you demand a strong, fair contract NOW! 

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/show-ebay-were-united-for-a-fair-contract/

Open Issues

  • Accommodations: The accommodations changes that took place in December are still an open issue and remain a high priority for our Union. The company has denied that there are any outstanding issues with accommodations and that everyone affected by the changes to accommodations has been dealt with.
  • COVID Policy: During the last bargaining session the company presented changes that they wanted to make to their COVID policy. We told the company’s bargaining team that we would need to review the changes made to the policy to give a sufficient response. The company decided to move forward with the changes without a response from our team. While presenting information about a change to a policy in advance is an improvement in TCGplayer’s conduct, they are still required to bargain over the effects of any change to the terms and conditions of our labor. It is unacceptable that TCGplayer continues to make unilateral changes without bargaining with our Union. 
  • Security Cameras: The company installed new security cameras in the third floor hallway. Many members of the bargaining unit have expressed concern over the new security cameras. Our bargaining team has requested information on the new cameras and we intend to bargain the effects of the new cameras on the bargaining unit. 
  • Safety Issues: Our Bargaining Committee brought two safety concerns to the company's attention. The first is the fact that the elevators keep breaking down. At one point all of the elevators were down. We believe that this poses a risk to the unit's safety and may also be an accessibility problem for our differently abled coworkers. The other concern we had was over maintenance workers working on ladders over and around our coworkers in the cabinet area and in the shipping department. We are unsure of the nature of the work being performed, but the company did not take any special safety precautions while this work was being performed. 

Proposals

  • Non-Discrimination: This proposal has been passed back and forth several times. The major disagreement over this article is the issue of what a labor arbitrator would be able to award a member of the bargaining unit if they were discriminated against. The company's team wanted to adjust the language in our counter to list what a labor arbitrator can do. Their team said that they would reply with a counter.
  • Progressive Discipline: In this proposal we outline the steps of progressive discipline. Our team believes that there should be a sunset to discipline in an employee’s permanent record. It is our position that discipline should be removed from an employee’s permanent record after 90 days of employment without further discipline. 
  • Seniority: We continue to have disagreements on seniority. The company would like to limit the use of seniority to layoff and recall. We have requested that an updated seniority list be provided to the Union quarterly and the company's team has asked for a breakdown of the specific information of what they should provide. 
  • Layoff & Recall: The company and the Union have major disagreements over the order of layoffs. It is the position of our Union that the least senior member of the bargaining unit should be laid off first, then the next least senior and so on. We believe that this is the most objective and least biased way to make this determination. The company’s position is that they should be able to use job performance, history and seniority to determine the order of layoffs. We believe that this muddies the waters and opens the door to favoritism.
  • Attendance: The company made a counter proposal on Attendance. We are apart on several key issues within this article such as grace periods, whether or not employees should be forced to use PTO for an unplanned absence, and inclement weather. We were not able to review the counter in depth by the end of the session, but we intend to respond at an upcoming session. 

Tentative Agreements

  • Health & Safety: TCGplayer’s Safety Squad is a program that we would like to see continue. We were able to reach a tentative agreement on this article which preserves the Safety Squad and ensures that members of the bargaining unit will always be on it.
  • Lockers: We were finally able to come to a tentative agreement on lockers with minor tweaks to the previous language. 
  • Personnel Files: This proposal is intended to allow employees to review and attach notes to their permanent record. This proposal is not intended to preclude an employee from requesting specific information from their supervisor. It is to allow for a holistic review of an employee’s permanent record. The company claimed that there is no central document that could be considered a personnel file. They countered with language that included a list of the types of information an employee can request for a personnel file. We came to a tentative agreement on this article after minor tweaks to the company's language to allow for the request of information not specifically listed in the article. 
  • Good Standing: We proposed to the company what constitutes an employee in Good Standing, and what can cause the loss of this status. We were apart on Good Standing because the company wanted to exclude employees in bad standing from participating in overtime. The company countered with a proposal that did not have language excluding employees in bad standing from overtime and we were able to come to a Tentative Agreement. That is a big win!

Upcoming Dates

  • 2/6: Bargaining Session
  • 2/13: Bargaining Session
  • 2/18: Members’ Meeting
  • 3/5: Bargaining Session
  • 3/24: Members’ Meeting