More than 200 Google employees in the United States have formed a workers’ union, the elected leaders of the union wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on Monday.
The “Alphabet Workers Union” aims to ensure that employees work at a fair wage, without fear of abuse, retaliation or discrimination, the union heads wrote.
Google has been under fire from the US labor regulator, which has accused the company of unlawfully questioning several workers who were then terminated for protesting against company policies and trying to organize a union. Google has said it was confident it acted legally.
“We’re building on years of organizing efforts at Google to create a formal structure for workers,” the union leaders wrote, adding that so far 226 employees had signed union cards with the Communications Workers of America.
Chewy Shaw, an engineer at Google in the San Francisco Bay Area and the vice-chair of the union’s leadership council, told the Times the union was needed to sustain pressure on management so that workers could force changes on workplace issues.
“Our goals go beyond the workplace questions of, ‘Are people getting paid enough?’ Our issues are going much broader,” he said. “It is a time where a union is an answer to these problems.”
“Our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees,” said Kara Silverstein, director of people operations at Google.