Google, Alphabet employees seek to form a union – TechCrunch

Group of more than 200 Google And the alphabet workers have announced their efforts to form a union. With the help of the Communications Workers of America Union campaign to organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA), Alphabet labor union Wants to be open to both employees and contractors.

Of the 227 workers who have signed so far to support the union, all of them have committed to set aside 1% of annual compensation to go toward union dues. Most of the workers who signed up have offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Cambridge.

Dylan Baker, a software engineer at Google, said in a statement, “This is historic – the first union in a major tech company and for all technical employees.” “We will elect representatives, we will decide democratically, we will pay dues, and we will employ skilled organizers to ensure all workers at Google can work with us if they really Want to see your company reflect their values. “

Efforts to form unions in Google and Alphabet come after unions in tech companies kick And jumbled up Early last year. Additionally, on workers HCL Technologies workers who contract for Google in Pittsburgh And workers at the tech company cafeteria in the Bay Area formed unions last year.

CODE-CWA union organizer Wes McKenney said about Techchurch before looking at more tech companies saying you have an industry of workers – new generation workers and especially tech and sports, with young people increasingly Are increasing. Let’s organize. “Some of them make a lot of money and are working on companies that do really bad things. I think they are socially in a position where they are as good as enough. “

Google has been at the center of a plethora of labor problems over the years. in between Google walkout, Retaliation reported against the organizers of the walkout And this Dr. Timneet Gabru’s recent farewell, It should be no surprise that the company people decided to make their organizing efforts more official.

In a press release, workers also reported that more than half of the people working in alphabet companies are contract workers and therefore lack many benefits. Additionally, take issue with workers Huge payment package to officers accused of harassment, Also with some of the company’s government contracts, such as around military drone targets.

During this, Just last monthThe National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Google alleging that the company has violated parts of the National Labor Relations Act by surveying employees, and generally with employees in the exercise of guaranteeing their rights, restrained and coerced Have interfered Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

The NLRB also alleged that Google “discouraged its employees from forming, joining, helping a union or engaging in other protected, concrete activities.”

They are some of the reasons why workers want to bargain collectively on workplace conditions. Nevertheless, there is much that must be done before the complete arrival of the Alphabet Labor Union. As of now, 227 or so workers still need to get other Google and Alphabet workers on board to reach a strong majority in favor of the union. As of September 30, 2020, Alphabet employed 132,121 people. The next step is then to get recognition from the alphabet.

That last part can be difficult. Case in point: Kickstarter. When workers asked Kickstarter for voluntary recognition in 2019, the company’s leadership refused to do so, despite the support of the majority of workers. Instead, Kickstarter leadership forced workers A formal election with the National Labor Relations Board. It worked in the end for all Kickstarter workers, but it took about ten months before going public with efforts to be recognized as a Kickstarter union. Once official, the Alphabet Workers Union will be part of the CWA Local 1400.

Nikki Anselmo, a program manager at Google, said in a statement, “This union is based on years of courageous events by Google workers”. From fighting the “real names” policy, to opposing Project Maven, to the outrageous, multi-million dollar payments that have been made to sexually abusive officials, we’ve seen for the first time That is the answer to the alphabet. Work collectively. Our new union provides a permanent structure to ensure that our shared values ​​as Alphabet employees are respected even after they remain in the headlines. “