A recently leaked internal document reveals how Google has created a deep divide between the treatment of its full-time employees and the temps, vendors, and contractors that make up almost 50 percent of the tech giant’s workforce.
The Guardian reports that according to an internal Google document obtained by the publication, certain Google workers known as TVC’s are not permitted to receive the same perks and rewards that other employees do. TVC stands for “temps, vendors and contractors,” the internal document obtained by the Guardian titled “The ABCs of TVCs,” explains the difference between TVC’s and regular Google employees, called “Googlers.”
“Working with TVCs and Googlers is different,” the training document explains. “Our policies exist because TVC working arrangements can carry significant risks.” The risks that Google refers to include insider threats such as leaks of proprietary information, but one area that Google particularly worries about is being found to be a joint employer, a legal designation that could cost the company more money.
According to current employment figures, of Google’s 170,000 employees, 50 percent are full-time employees (FTE’s) while 49.95 percent are TVC’s. An anonymous open letter addressed to Google CEO, Sundar Pichai from “TVCs at Google” was published shortly after mass walkouts at Google to protest allegations of sexual misconduct. The open letter discussed the differential treatment that TVC’s face at Google including lower wages and “minimal benefits.”
“Google routinely denies TVCs access to information that is relevant to our jobs and our lives,” the letter states. “When the tragic shooting occurred at YouTube in April of this year, the company sent real-time security updates to full-time employees only, leaving TVCs defenseless in the line of fire. TVCs were then excluded from a town hall discussion the following day.”
Google spokeswoman, Jenn Kaiser, provided a statement to the Guardian saying: “We hire Google employees to work on jobs that are core to our business, and look to temps, vendors and contractors when we either don’t have the expertise or infrastructure ourselves, or when we need temporary help due to employee leaves or short-term projects. Temps, vendors and contractors are an important part of our extended workforce, but they are employed by other companies, not Google.”
One full-time Google employee expressed his opinion on the treatment of TVC employees stating: “It’s all about saving money. If someone sues them, they want to point at all this fake shit and say, ‘Hey look, there’s such a big difference, see?’” The employee then stated his own personal reason for disliking the distinction between FTE and TVC employees: “We are legally in the clear to treat people like garbage.”