More than 200 workers and builders in Google parent Alphabet in the US and Canada have formed a labor union to promote workplace equity and moral business practices, the group chosen leaders have said.
The “Alphabet Workers Union” will gather dues of 1% of total compensation from members, according to its website. The capital will cover paid organizers, events, legal support and salary for members in the event of a labor strike.
The team’s formation assembles on unprecedented protests by Google employees in the last several years. While the technology market has seen minimum union action and worker pushback historically, thousands of people in Alphabet had banded together to openly criticize Google’s handling of sexual harassment complaints, its work with the U.S. military and other troubles.
Unlike many budding unions, the recently formed group doesn’t expect to collective bargain with Alphabet over pay and working conditions any time soon. On the contrary, it aims to make a more formal structure to arrange future protests.
“Our union will work to ensure that workers know what they’re working on, and can do their work at a fair wage, without fear of abuse, retaliation or discrimination,” Google engineers Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on Monday declaring the union.
Koul is the executive chair of the Alphabet Workers Union, also Shaw vice chair.
Kara Silverstein, director of individuals operations at Google, said on Monday, “Our employees have protected labor rights that we support.”
Google has been under fire in the US labor regulator, which has accused the company of unlawfully questioning several employees who were then terminated for protesting company policies and seeking to organize a union. Google has said it was confident it acted legitimately.
Alphabet Workers Union members will likely be a part of the Communications Workers of America Local 1400, which also includes workers from Verizon Communications and AT&T.