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 user 2010-02-08 at 10:37:50 am Views: 42
  • #23531
    Xerox Corp. shareholders approved its $6.2 billion acquisition of Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services Inc. Friday as union demonstrators picketed outside the company’s Norwalk headquarters in support of a new labor contract for some ACS workers.”We want Xerox to know what they’re buying. They (ACS) are rogue employers,” said Tim Dubnau, district organizing coordinator for the Communications Workers of America, who attended the meeting. “The AFL-CIO has shares in Xerox. We have our certificate of stock. As a shareholder, I’m voting for the merger.”We’re hoping Xerox is the grown-up here and bargains with the union. It’s up to Xerox to put a stop to this and call ACS and tell them to negotiate.”

    The simmering labor strife involves an E-ZPass call center on Staten Island, N.Y., staffed by 300 ACS employees.The employees voted last year to join Local 1102 of the CWA, an AFL-CIO union, and are hoping that when ACS becomes a unit of Norwalk-based Xerox it will change its approach toward to new labor unit and decide to negotiate a contract.

    About a dozen CWA members picketed in front of Xerox on Glover Avenue, reminding shareholders as they entered the property that ACS and the union were at odds. More than 96 percent of Xerox common shares that voted supported the deal, while more than 86 percent of the outstanding Class “A” and “B” ACS stocks were cast in favor of the acquisition.

    ACS, which has 74,000 global employees supporting multi-national corporations and government agencies in more than 100 countries, offers business process outsourcing support in finance, human resources, information technology, transaction processing and customer care.

    Joining Dubnau on the picket line was Dorothy McLeod, an 11-year employee of the E-Z Pass call center.”I’m hoping they (Xerox) will treat us more fairly. I understand they are a union company,” she said.ACS has appealed the National Labor Relations Board’s certification of the local, contending that the CWA did not offer other CWA employees at other E-Z Pass facilities in New York state an opportunity to vote on formation of the bargaining unit.

    “We’re concerned that the CWA may have violated the rights of some employees during the union recognition campaign,” said ACS spokesman Kevin Lightfoot, commenting that ACS employees will retain their jobs.It’s not unusual for a company to delay contract talks with a new union after it is certified by the NLRB, said attorney Robert Brody of Brody & Associates in Stamford.”Three out of four companies that unionize don’t negotiate a contract in the first year,” he said.

    Xerox is aware of the impasse faced by ACS and the union, said Xerox spokesman Bill Mckee, though he declined to comment on the company’s viewpoint. “At this point, this is between ACS and CWA, and it would be inappropriate to comment,” he said.

    McKee added he expects the deal to close next week. CWA stockholders approved the purchase Friday afternoon.”Our shareholders’ vote of confidence reflects the strategic and financial benefits of this acquisition,” said Ursula Burns, Xerox chief executive officer, in prepared comments. “Through the acquisition of ACS, Xerox gains a growth catalyst that secures a strong, competitive future for our company and increasing value for our customers and shareholders.”

    Traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ACS,” Affiliated Computer Services is a $6.5 billion company with revenue growth of 6 percent and new business signings of $1 billion in annual recurring revenue during its fiscal 2009.

    Under the terms of the agreement, ACS shareholders receive $18.60 per share in cash and 4.935 Xerox shares for each ACS share they own. Xerox assumes ACS’s $2 billion debt.Xerox shares lost 18 cents and closed at $8.47 Friday, while ACS lost $1.39 and closed at $59.64.Last month, Xerox reported fourth quarter revenue of $4.2 billion, a 3 percent drop from the same period a year ago. Revenue for 2009 was $15.2 billion, compared with $17.6 billion in 2008.