The first union in Google’s history was created on Monday. At the origin of the initiative, employees who denounce unfair working conditions and who also wish to reflect on the role of technology in our society. However, the latter risk coming up against many obstacles, with managers systematically preventing any pay organization.
“We have had enough”. Anger is roaring among Google employees. In a column published in the New York Times, two of them announced the creation of the first union of the group. An initiative still rare among the giants of the tech and which comes taint the image of paradise for workers hitherto assigned to the Mountain View firm. According to its founders, the union’s mission will be toimprove working conditions in place, as well as, more broadly, reflect on the role of technology in our society.
“We hope to create a democratic process for employees so that they can exercise their power, promote social, economic and environmental justice; and end unjust disparities ”, explain Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw, two engineers behind the initiative. They refer in particular in the forum to the signature of Google “don’t be evil”(“Don’t be evil”), ensuring that they wish “Follow this motto”.
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Will Google accept the creation of this first union?
The question arises in view of the methods used by the firm to prevent any such organization. Last month, a complaint by the National Labor Relations Board, a public agency for workers, denounced the policy of terror by means of illegal espionage and unfair dismissals put in place by Google. Moreover, the dismissal of a black researcher leaning on the ethics of artificial intelligence would have, among other things, pushed employees to create the union.
However, for the latter to be effective, the founders must obtain the agreement of 30% of employees Alphabet, the group of which Google is a part. Out of 130,000 employees, 226 have so far declared their support for the initiative. This figure is hardly surprising, since companies in Silicon Valley have a habit of calling on large law firms to end these attempts. Trade unionists thus expose themselves to acts of harassment and even dismissal.
Source: New York Times