Google employees form global union alliance amid ongoing turmoil with company’s executives
Early this month, we told you about tech giant Google after more than 200 of its employees came together to form a union known as the Alphabet Workers Union. In a New York Times op-ed by two employees, Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw, the duo wrote that the company’s motto used to be “Don’t be evil,” now they want an organized workforce that will help the company live up to its motto.
Now a little over three weeks after the op-ed, Google employees announced they are forming a global labor union alliance that includes the U.S. and Canadian offices as ongoing turmoil with the company’s executives continues, according to a report from Reuters.
Dubbed Alpha Global, the union was formed in coordination with UNI Global Union, a union federation that represents about 20 million workers globally, and includes unions from countries such as the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK, UNI Global Union said.
“The problems at Alphabet – and created by Alphabet – are not limited to any one country, and must be addressed on a global level,” UNI’s General Secretary Christy Hoffman said.
Over the years, Google employees have protested several management decisions at Alphabet, including the handling of sexual misconduct by former execs, the removal of an AI researcher, and a former Google partnership with the Pentagon.
Per New York Times, Timnit Gebru, a leading artificial intelligence researcher and one of the few Black women in her field, said she was fired over her work to fight bias. Her offense? “She was conducting research that was critical of large-scale A.I. models and being critical of existing diversity and inclusion efforts,” New York Times wrote.
The union is the result of several years of turmoil between execs and Google employees. It all started late last year after The New York Times reported that Google had paid tens of millions of dollars to two executives who had been accused of sexual misconduct toward our co-workers, staying silent about the alleged abuse and letting them walk away with no consequences.