More than 200 US Google engineers have formed a workers’ union as a result of growing activism at one of the world’s largest companies located in the Silicon Valley region of Northern California. The creation of a union is very rare for a couple of reasons. First, the area where Google maintains its headquarters is known to be staunchly anti-union. In fact, former Silicon Valley worker turned activist, David Bacon, explained that tech employers aimed for complete suppression of union organization by firing one out of every 10 workers who participated in a union drive. Secondly, it’s also very unusual for white-collar workers to unionize; historically, unions have served blue-collar workers who make their living doing some form of manual labor.
Employees at Google have worked behind the scenes for the past year to form a union as a result of increasing demands for policy overhauls on pay, harassment, and ethics. The new union is called the Alphabet Workers Union after Google’s parent company and maintains an affiliation with the Communication Workers of America, another union that represents workers in telecommunications and media in both the US and Canada. The ultimate goal of the union is to protect workers, global society, and the world through the promotion of solidarity, democracy, and social & economic justice.
United States Senator Bernie Sanders is a staunch supporter of their movement, stating that what they are fighting for is not radical. Workers want fair wages and a workplace free from abuse, retaliation, intimidation, and discrimination.
Written by: Kelly Stewart