A recent report from the New York Times outlines how more than 225 engineers at tech giant Google have formed a union following years of activism. The Alphabet Workers Union was reportedly organized in secret over the course of the last year.
In an article titled “Hundreds of Google Employees Unionize, Culminating Years of Activism,” the New York Times outlines how more than 225 Google engineers and other workers have banded together to form a union, following years of growing activism at the tech giant.
The union is quite unusual in Silicon Valley which has largely resisted efforts to organize its workforce. For years Google employees have demanded policy overhauls on pay, harassment, and ethics, publishing multiple open letters to upper management over issues such as government contracts and allegations of sexual harassment at the company.
The new union is called the Alphabet Workers Union and was organized in secret for the better part of a year, electing its leadership last month. The group is linked to the Communication Workers of America, a union representing workers in telecommunications and media in the United States and Canada.
However, unlike traditional unions which require an employer to meet with union leaders and agree to a contract, the Alphabet Workers Union is a “minority union” representing a fraction of the company’s 260,000 full-time employees and contractors. Workers stated that it was primarily an effort to give structure and longevity to activism at Google.
Chewy Shaw, an engineer at Google in the San Francisco Bay Area and the vice-chair of the union’s leadership council, stated: “Our goals go beyond the workplace questions of, ‘Are people getting paid enough?’ Our issues are going much broader. It is a time where a union is an answer to these problems.”
Kara Silverstein, Google’s director of people operations, commented: “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our work force. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”
Read more at the New York Times here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com