A federal labor complaint has been filed against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, by the Communications Workers of America union. The complaint alleges that Google unlawfully fired four employees to prevent them from union organizing efforts.
Reuters reports the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union has filed a federal labor charge against Alphabet Inc’s Google, accusing the firm of unlawfully firing four employees in an effort to prevent them and other employees from engaging in union activities. The complaint will result in an investigation from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) into whether Google violated the four fired employees’ rights to raise concerns about working conditions.
The complaint states that Google fired the four employees “to discourage and chill employees from engaging in protected concerted and union activities.” The filing further states: “Its actions are the antithesis of the freedoms and transparency it publicly touts.” Google has stated that the employees were fired for violating the company’s data security policies. Google further acknowledged hiring a consultancy firm last month with a reputation for defeating unionism.
The CWA represents 700,000 North Americans working at AT&T, Walt Disney, and companies across multiple other industries. Laurie Burgess, an attorney at Messing Adam & Jasmine who worked on the NLRB filing stated that the union has been trying to organize workers at Google for some time. The union stepped forward to file the charge against Google “because it has been harmed by Google’s actions.”
CWA spokeswoman Beth Allen stated that the unions organizing director has been in touch with Google employees and has offered the unions assistance. “It’s a good partnership we have and through their own organizing if they decide they want to form a union, we’re here to help them,” she said. “We really believe in workers leading their own struggles.”
One of the four fired workers named in the filing, Paul Duke, stated in a tweet: “I was fired for organizing my coworkers and advocating for better working conditions for everyone who works at Google (including employees, temps, vendors, and contractors).”
Read more at Reuters here.