A group of around 200 workers from Google and its parent company Alphabet have joined to form Workers Union. The union will be open to both employees and contractors and will run with the help of the Communication Workers of America Union’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA). The workers who signed up commit to set aside 1% of the yearly compensation, which will be utilized for union dues. The dues will be used to help compensate co-workers for lost wages in the event of a strike. The majority of the workers who have signed up come from the offices in San Francisco and Cambridge.
Out of Alphabet’s 132,121 employees, only 227 workers have signed up. However, looking at the intent, more and more employees are likely to join soon as it is just the beginning. “This is historic—the first union at a major tech company by and for all tech workers. 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,” said Dylan Baker, a software engineer at Google.
Google has been facing a lot of labor issues in the past few years. More than half of employees who work at Alphabet are contract workers and lack benefits. Also, there have been several cases of harassment by executives. The workers union will also allow employees to speak against the company if it is involved in something unpleasant. It can help to boycott projects that are not for public benefit.