Google's first workers union was born

Google's first workers union was born

It's called the Alphabet Workers Union, and it was created to voice the protests of Big G workers on important issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace, ethically dubious projects and wage disparity

(photo: Alex Tai / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images) A ​​group of Google employees decided to join the Communications Workers of America (Cwa) industry union by creating the Alphabet Workers Union, with the aim of addressing pending issues in Mountain View over wage inequality, corporate retaliation and controversial government contracts.

The union currently consists of approximately 230 Big G employees and, according to the New York Times, the its birth represents an unusual fact in the American industrial reality. "This is a historic fact: the first union in a major technology company by and for all workers in the sector," said Dylan Baker, software engineer at Google.

The growing demands of the giant's workers tech aimed at encouraging a review of company policies on pay, harassment and ethical issues have actually accelerated the process of creating the workers' organization.

"This union is based on years of courageous organization by of Google workers, ”said Nicki Anselmo, a Google programmer. "From fighting the 'real name' policy, to opposition to the Maven Project, to protesting the blatant multimillion dollar payments that have been given to executives who have committed sexual harassment, we have seen firsthand that Alphabet only responds when we act collectively. ".

The union was born in secret in the first months of 2020, organizing itself slowly. Then in December the project finally took shape with the election of its leader and renaming itself the Alphabet Workers Union. Technically defined as a minority union, Alphabet Workers Union represents a fraction of the company's more than 260,000 full-time employees and contractors.

Google employees who decide to join will pay 1% of their annual compensation to the union: the money will be used to pay legal fees and to organize staff. “Our goals go beyond the classic questions like: 'Are people getting paid enough?' The issues we face are becoming much broader, ”said Chewy Shaw, a Google engineer and vice president of the union's board of directors. "It is a time when a union becomes an answer to these problems."

Big G responded to the initiative of its workers through Kara Silverstein, director of personnel operations, who said how the company has " always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding work environment for our workforce. Of course our employees have protected labor rights which we uphold. But as we always have, we will continue to speak directly to all our employees. ”

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