Google employees form new union in secret

6 months ago 31
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Jan. 4 (UPI) -- More than 200 Google employees have formed a union, the group said Monday, creating a credible challenge to Silicon Valley culture that has shied away from union workforces.

The new Alphabet Workers Union, to cover 225 engineers and other workers at Google's parent company, elected its leadership in secret last month and earned affiliation with the Communication Workers of America.

The CWA represents union workers in the telecommunications and media industry throughout the United States and Canada.

"This union builds upon years of courageous organizing by Google workers," Nicki Anselmo, Google's program manager said in a statement.

"From fighting the 'real names' policy to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multimillion-dollar payouts that have been given to executives who've committed sexual harassment, we've seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively.

"Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade."

Google issued a statement about the union's announcement, saying it supports its employees' rights to organize.

"We've always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce," said Kara Silverstein, Google's director of people operations. "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."

Dylan Baker, a Google software engineer, said the union will help the company reflect the values of its workers.

"This is historic; the first union at a major tech company by and for all tech workers," Baker said.

"We will elect representatives, we will make decisions democratically, we will pay dues, and we will hire skilled organizers to ensure all workers at Google know they can work with us if they actually want to see their company reflect their values."

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