Employees of Google, Waymo, and other Alphabet companies announce union formation

In recent years, tensions between employees and company management have been growing, with workers protesting several times.

Alphabet employees plan to form a union. They told NYT about this.

The association accepts both full-time employees and contractors who work under the contract. Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) will tackle pay inequality, combat unethical company transactions, and more.

Now about 225 people are participating in the union. Alphabet Workers Union backs Communications Workers of America, one of the largest trade unions in the United States.

As of September 2020, Alphabet had over 132,000 employees. Therefore, in the next phase, AWU will need to attract more participants, TechCrunch notes.

Google employees have repeatedly protested against the company’s actions: for example, they accused Google of protecting their top managers from accusations of sexual harassment and opposed cooperation with the US Department of Defense in some projects.

In the summer of 2019, Google ended its cooperation with the Pentagon over a project to develop drones with video surveillance. And in October 2019, she canceled a $10 billion contract for cloud services for the Pentagon.

Also, due to protests from employees, Google had to abandon plans to create a censored search service Dragonfly to return to the Chinese market.

In December 2020, the US National Labor Relations Administration charged Google with labor violations. The company fired two employees for organizing protests.

As the Washington Post notes, many Silicon Valley companies are resisting union formation. Typically, such associations are created with the help of the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

So, in 2019, Kickstarter employees united in a trade union and demanded negotiations with the company. Kickstarter refused to recognize the union and had to go through a union election process with the NLRB. The Kickstarter Union was recognized as a union, but it took about 10 months.

The Alphabet union was created without the participation of the NLRB — this limits the rights of the union. For example, he will not be able to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the Alphabet. But the merger still has other leverage over the company, NYT notes.

AWU organizers hope the merger will help them get the company to abide by its Don’t Be Bad Rule.

We are the people that Alphabet is built on. We code, clean offices, serve food, drive buses, test drones, and do whatever it takes to keep this giant running. We started working with Alphabet because we wanted to create technologies that make the world a better place.
However, company leaders have repeatedly put profit above our problems. We want Alphabet to be a company where employees have a say in decisions that affect us and the communities in which we live.

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