It’s not a secret that Lionbridge seems to be trying to cut off as much payroll as it can when it comes to paying raters. This has been going on for several years now, and it seems like it’s a neverending problem.
Some raters have been getting the following email:
“Due to changing conditions in your market, we are adjusting your services billing rate to [depends on market] USD/hour. Beginning on next week, your services will be billed under the new market-adjusted rate. If you do not accept the newly offered rate, please terminate the provision of your services.”
In July 2020 there were warnings online for those employed by Lionbridge because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Many people said the company was going to go bankrupt and there were pay cuts and nearly zero tasks available all across projects.
The typical Lionbridge Internet Assessor can make $14 per hour, which is a pretty good wage, but that is totally dependent on what region you are employed in. It would seem that in August the advertised pay rate, depending on your location, was $8 to $18 per hour.
But it’s not only Lionbridge that is guilty of lowering its pay to raters. In August of 2020, some independent contractors were complaining of Arrow/Appen lowering the wage to $5 for some raters, while Lionbridge was paying $8.20.
The interesting thing is that information online told the story that Arrow/Appen had an abundance of tasks over Lionbridge on the same exact project because of the lower billing rate. Google, of course, likes to pay less money. At one point, Lionbridge had entire days with ZERO tasks across ALL their projects.
Keep in mind that Appen acquired Leapforce and is much bigger than Lionbridge.
The other interesting thing to mention at this point is that part of Lionbridge was just bought by Canadian corporation Telus. This will probably not affect the rater division of the company, nor will it change the pay.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we should mention that all raters in the USA will probably stay at or above $10.00 minimum per hour. There are laws in the USA about paying someone such a small wage. However, people in other places such as Turkey, or Ukraine had their pay reduced to $6.00 and $5.00 respectively. We did a little digging and found out that people in Egypt are getting paid only $3 per hour for the same job, and in Brazil the wage they are paid is $5 to do USA or Europe tasks. In August, Brazilian raters were doing just fine and some raters were saying they were getting 200 hours a month!
The scary thing is that we also found out that people in Finland that had a quality score of 96% were fired, but these same raters were saying there wasn’t any tasks to do since February. This also goes for people in South East Asia who were terminated even while scoring 90-100% all the time. We’re absolutely certain it had nothing to do with the scores, there was just no work available.
So what’s going on here? Well, it’s not hard to see that the company is trying to pocket as much money as it can while giving raters a new $5 a month offer, or send them packing if they don’t like the wage. Not a lot of people are going to like going from $8 an hour down to $5, but this is how Lionbridge is playing it.
US raters may likely be protected because they have a fixed minimum in tasks according to their contract, and there are also minimum wage laws in the United States that companies have to abide by.
So far, we haven’t heard of any problems with US raters having their wages slashed. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen of course because anything is possible.
If you have received one of these emails from either Appen or Lionbridge, let us know what rate you were offered and what location you work in, we’d like to hear from you and your experience.