Unions Stand Up to Google, End Up Winning

Google workers and contractors have been trying to form a union for a long time. Google’s parent firm, Alphabet Inc, is one of the world’s top employers, yet its workers have no collective bargaining rights. Many people felt helpless in the face of the company afterward.

Several hundred employees chose to create a union in the year 2021. It took the Alphabet Workers Union close to a year to organize behind closed doors. The Communications Workers of America is one of its associated groups. Contractors in Texas recently took on a major tech firm and won.

Workers Unionize

YouTube Music contractors in Austin, Texas decided on April 26 to form a bargaining unit so that they may collectively bargain with their employer Cognizant, and with Alphabet Inc, the parent company of YouTube. The vote was approved by a score of 41 to 0, and representatives from the National Labor Relations Board were there to oversee the tally.

Google has claimed the unionization vote was invalid since it was not the employer at the time. Technology company claims workers should only be able to bargain with Cognizant. As reported by the San Francisco Gate, a Google spokeswoman confirmed the company’s approval of the vote and clarified that Cognizant is the sole client of the contractors.

Maxwell Longfield, a contractor who voted for the agreement, said he and his colleagues “have spoken” and “have won a protected voice on the job to bring both Alphabet and Cognizant to the negotiating table.” He said all the workers want is to “win the fair working conditions [they] deserve.”

Alphabet Workers Union

Before the vote, the union claimed that Google and Cognizant had unlawfully interfered with the employees’ efforts to unionize. The Alphabet Workers Union said in a January lawsuit that the firms were exploiting their return-to-work procedures to discourage employees from unionizing.

HR Drive reported the union alleged one supervisor, Priya Ramani, told workers that they could “easily transferred to other offices in the case of an ‘emergency.’” The conversation was reportedly related to workers meeting to discuss organizing. Ramini also allegedly said the unionizing effort would come between her and her relationship with the workers and that she didn’t think a union victory would be good for everyone.

There are already hundreds of active members spread around the United States. Workers at other IT firms have also actively sought to form unions. Employees at Sega of America expressed their intention to create a union just days before the Alphabet Workers Union vote. The Allied Employees Guild to Improve SEGA (AEGIS-CWA) is another union that is being formed within the Communication Workers of America.




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