MENLO PARK, CA — (01-04-21) — Google employees have shocked the Tech world with the launch of its Alphabet Workers Union. Over 200 Google employees announced today the creation of the first workers union at a major technology company, an historic achievement.
The Alphabet Workers Union, referring to Google’s parent company, is launching with backing from the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
While smaller subsets of Google workers such as cafeteria workers in the San Francisco and contractors in Pittsburgh, have unionized in the past, the Alphabet Workers Union however, marks the first effort to establish a companywide union for the Multi Billion dollar tech giant.
“This is historic—the first union at a major tech company by and for all tech workers,” Dylan Baker, a Google software engineer, said the Google Employee press statement.
“We will elect representatives, we will make decisions democratically, we will pay dues, and we will hire skilled organizers to ensure all workers at Google know they can work with us if they actually want to see their company reflect their values.”
This isn’t the first time Google employees have gone after their employer with collective action. In 2018 thousands of the workers signed a petition protesting of Project Maven, a contract to help the Department of Defense track Americans in video surveillance captured by drones. That pressure campaign was ultimately successful as the contract was terminated by Google.
Google later that year announced it would end its practice of forced arbitration after 20,000 workers staged a walkout critical of the company’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints.
In recent months the company has also come under fire for the dismissal of Timnit Gebru, a top artificial intelligence researcher at Google and one of the few women of color in the specialized field. Thousands of Google employees were outraged and signed a petition protesting her departure.
The next step is for the newly formed Alphabet Workers to gather support from at least 40 percent of Google’s 120,000 employees. it will be a challenge as google is known for sabotaging collective bargaining by employees and the executives at Google may not even recognize the union voluntarily given its history.
With the formation of the Alphabet Workers Union, we are sure to see more of a surge of organizing to form more unions at Billion Dollar tech companies. How will it change the hiring practices from overseas that Google is known for. With tech employees on average making $70,000 annually, will Google cave for an increase in wages with employees using the Coronavirus for cause? These are questions that are sure to come up in negotiations.
JRL CHARTS reached out to Google publicity division for comment but as of this posting, we have not received a response.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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