World News – United States – Google employees announce union formation plans

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A group of Google employees announced plans to partner with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). . The Alphabet Workers Union is open to all employees and contractors of Google’s parent company. Your goal will be to address ongoing issues such as wage differentials, retaliation, and controversial government contracts.

« This union builds on years of courageous organization by Google employees, » said Nicki Anselmo, a Google program manager. “From fighting the ‘real names’ policy to rejecting Project Maven, to protesting the monstrous multi-million dollar payouts made to executives who have committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen firsthand that Alphabet responds when we act together. ”

Google’s work on Project Maven, an attempt to use AI to improve targeted drone strikes, sparked protests from employees who viewed the work as unethical. In 2018, the company decided not to renew its contract with the Pentagon. The company also ended its compulsory arbitration policy after Dec.. 000 workers went on strike to protest former CEO Andy Rubin, who received a $ 90 million exit package after being credibly charged with sexual harassment.

Now that the union effort is public, organizers are likely to launch a series of campaigns to collect votes from Google employees. Before the announcement, around 230 Google employees and contractors signed cards in support of the union.

The new organization, which was formed as a membership-only union, is not seeking collective bargaining rights to negotiate a new contract with the company. Instead, the Alphabet Workers Union only represents workers who join voluntarily. This structure will also allow it to represent all workers who may wish to participate – including temporary workers, suppliers and contractors (internally known as TVCs) who would be labor law excluded from traditional collective bargaining.

Google contractors have long complained about their unequal treatment compared to full-time employees. While they make up the majority of the Google workforce, they often lack the benefits of employees. In 2019, around 80 Google contractors in Pittsburgh agreed to join the United Steelworkers Union.

The Alphabet Workers Union is planning a union with CWA Local 1400 that will represent workers in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and California.

The news comes a month after the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint alleging Google illegally fired two workers who organized employee protests. Staff Laurence Berland and Kathryn Spiers got together against the company’s decision to work with IRI Consultants, a company known for its anti-union efforts.

The well-known AI ethicist Timnit Gebru is also fired in December. In a press release announcing the union, the Alphabet Workers Union wrote: “The layoff has outraged thousands of us, including black and brown workers, who have broken from the company’s policies and are unsure of their future on Google are. ”

Earlier this year, according to NBC, employees of the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter voted for a union with the International Union Local 153 of Office and Professional Employees. It was the first time technology workers had been unionized.

If the union efforts on Google are successful, members indicate that they devote 1 percent of their annual pay to the union. The money will be used to pay legal fees and organize staff.

In a statement emailed to The Verge, Kara Silverstein, Director of People Operations at Google, said, “We have always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected the labor rights we support. But as always, we will continue to be in direct contact with all of our employees. ”

Union, Google, Alphabet Inc. .

World News – US – Google employees announce union formation plans

Ref: https://www.theverge.com

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