Google employees form a union2021-01-05 14:04 by Daniela
More than 400 workers at Google and its parent company, Alphabet, have signed on to form a new union that they say will push the tech giant to live up to its original motto: "Don't be evil." On Monday, the group announced the creation of the Alphabet Workers Union, after years of employees protesting for change at the iconic Silicon Valley company.
This "minority union," organized with labor union Communications Workers of America (CWA), is a voluntary effort that will not require a majority of the workforce to join. It will not represent the total workforce or require non-members to pay dues, but it will offer a collective voice to members as they continue to raise issues of importance to management.
"This union builds upon years of courageous organizing by Google workers," said Nicki Anselmo, a Google program manager. "From fighting the 'real names' policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who've committed sexual harassment, we've seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively."
Since 2018, Google employees have taken part in a number of collective actions aimed at reforming company practices. In 2018, Google employees wrote a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai asking him to end a partnership between Google and the Pentagon. Later that year, employees around the world staged a walkout to protest the company's handling of executives accused of sexual misconduct, including a $90 million exit package for former Android lead Andy Rubin.
Protests were also held in 2019 to support two employees who were being investigated about their retaliation claims. Most recently, employees created a petition to support departed AI researcher Timnit Gebru, who said she was fired over a research paper dispute.
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