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'Demanding Change At Work,' Google Workers Launch Its First Union With The Communications Workers Of America

Published Thursday, January 7, 2021
by CWA News
'Demanding Change At Work,' Google Workers Launch Its First Union With The Communications Workers Of America

Workers at Google and other Alphabet companies are announcing the creation of the Alphabet Workers Union with support from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) - the first of its kind in the company’s history.

It will be the first Union open to all Employees and contractors at any Alphabet company, with dues-paying Members, an elected board of directors and paid Organizing Staff.

“This Union ‘builds upon years of courageous organizing by Google Workers,’” Program Manager Nicki Anselmo said. “From fighting the ‘real names’ policy to ‘opposing’ Project Maven to ‘protesting the egregious, multi-million 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.’”

The new Union is part of CWA’s CODE-CWA (Coalition to Organize Digital Employees) project and the Workers will be Members of CWA Local 1400.

It follows successful Union drives by other Google Workers - like HCL Contract Workers in Pittsburgh and Cafeteria Workers now with UNITE HERE! in the Bay Area, as well as Unions formed by Workers at other Tech Companies like Kickstarter and Glitch.

The Alphabet Workers Union, however, will be the first open to all Employees of Alphabet, regardless of their role or classification.

“This is ‘historic - the first Union at a major tech company by and for all Tech Workers,’” Software Engineer Dylan 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.’”

“We are ‘glad to welcome’ the Alphabet Workers Union as Members of CWA Local 1400,” said CWA Local President Don Trementozzi. “We are a Democratic, ‘Member-driven’ Union, ‘with experience building and sustaining Worker Power at some of America’s largest corporations.’ This is an ‘historic step toward making lasting improvements for workers at Google and other Alphabet companies.’”

Google began as a small tech company with a “Don’t Be Evil” mantra, but has quickly become one of the most influential companies in the world.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, now has more than 120,000 workers.

It’s responsible for vast swaths of the Internet, controlling tools used by billions of people across the world, with subsidiaries as varied as Waymo, Verily, Fitbit, and Wing.

Yet, half of Google workers at Alphabet companies are hired as TVCs - Temps, Vendors or Contractors - without the benefits afforded to Full-Time Employees.

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