Our Campaigns

We are known for taking action when there are injustices in the workplace and when we believe Alphabet isn’t living up to our shared values. When we organize, we win!

AI and Labor
AI and Labor
AI and Labor

As tech workers, Alphabet Workers members are among the first to be impacted by the artificial intelligence tools that are currently upending the world labor market.

That’s why we are organizing for protections for workers from AI, in defense of our own jobs and on behalf of the billions of workers worldwide whose livelihoods are soon to be impacted by AI.

Here’s what we’ve been up to so far.

Google Help Content Creation Team
Google Help Content Creation Team
Google Help Content Creation Team

We’re a union of 120 writers and designers for the Google Support site. We won our union election on November 6, 2023. While our team is spread across many time zones, we have hubs in California and Austin, TX.

Although our paychecks come from Accenture, the NLRB has agreed with our assertion that  Google and Accenture are our joint employers.

Shortly after announcing our intent to unionize, Google offshored most of our team, resulting in 93 of our workers being laid off. We assert that this is clear retaliation and have filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the NRLB. Learn more about our story.

Every Google Worker
Every Google Worker
Every Google Worker

At AWU-CWA, we want to organize Every. Google. Worker.

This includes Google full-time employees (FTEs), workers at Alphabet’s “Other Bets,” Temps, Vendors, and Contractors (TVCs) in the Extended Workforce, and ghost workers like Raters whom Google doesn’t recognize as contractors.

To combat the many ways in which Google seeks to divide us by employment classification, types of contractor, and levels of pay and benefits, we conducted a survey of over 1,800 members of the extended workforce to discuss their employers' adherence to Google’s stated contractor minimum standards.

The troubling results of our investigation can be found at the Every Google Worker campaign site.

YouTube Music Content Operations
YouTube Music Content Operations
YouTube Music Content Operations

Workers on the YouTube Music Content Operations team, based out of Austin, TX,  were responsible for ensuring music content was available and approved for YouTube Music’s 80 million subscribers worldwide. Even as workers contributed to the success of the billion dollar platform, they were paid as little as $19 dollars an hour and received minimal benefits.

These workers began their union organizing in 2022 with a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a union election. Google and its subcontractor, Cognizant, responded with a retaliatory return-to-work mandate despite the fact that these workers had been hired for fully remote positions. Many workers either lived across state lines and/or were not paid enough to afford the associated expenses with in-person work, like gas and childcare costs. With no other option but  “voluntary termination” for being unable to physically show up at the office, workers began an Unfair Labor Practice strike in February 2023. This was the first strike in Alphabet/Google history.

The workers unanimously voted to unionize with Alphabet Workers Union-CWA (AWU-CWA) in April 2023. The NLRB announced that it would uphold a previous ruling that found members of the YouTube Content Operations Team to be jointly employed by both Google and subcontractor Cognizant. This decision requires Google to join workers at the bargaining table alongside Cognizant. Google responded by announcing that the company will not bargain with workers, in direct opposition to the NLRB’s decision recognizing Google as the employer of these workers. In September 2023, workers engaged in a one day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike against Google and its contractor, Cognizant, in response to their refusal to bargain.

On Thursday, February 29 2024, Google informed workers on the YouTube Music Content Operations Team that they would be laid off while the workers were testifying before the Austin City Council on a resolution calling for Google to bargain with them in good faith. The Austin City Council passed its resolution after a hearing during which workers revealed that they had just received word of the layoffs.

Workers are subcontracted by Cognizant to work on the Google-owned YouTube platform. The layers of subcontracting are a mechanism by which Google distances itself from its responsibilities to its workers. However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has repeatedly upheld a ruling that recognized Google and Cognizant as joint employers of these workers. The NLRB found that Google has control over workers and their working conditions and is thus obligated to directly negotiate with their union.

Alphabet Workers Union-Communications Workers of America (AWU-CWA) has filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Google and Cognizant on behalf of the laid off members of the Austin based YouTube Music Content Operations team. The charge alleges that workers were unlawfully terminated by Google and Cognizant in retaliation for their union organizing. Google and Cognizant have a legal obligation, under the National Labor Relations Act, not to significantly change the working conditions of these workers and to directly negotiate with them at the bargaining table, which Google has refused to do since workers unanimously voted to unionize on April 26, 2023.

Enforce Google pay standards for Raters workers
Enforce Google pay standards for Raters workers
Enforce Google pay standards for Raters workers

Google Search quality depends on the unseen labor of workers at Raterlabs. These workers are part of Google’s extended workforce, but they are not compensated at the minimum standard for wages and benefits that other temps, vendors, and contractors (TVCs) receive from Google because they are part-time employees. These workers are calling on Alphabet to ensure all workers meet Alphabet’s standards and that the standards themselves are raised to provide workers with healthcare, family leave, or PTO benefits.

Add caste as a protected class to Google’s US Code of Conduct
Add caste as a protected class to Google’s US Code of Conduct
Add caste as a protected class to Google’s US Code of Conduct

Thenmozhi Soundararajan was scheduled to deliver a talk at Alphabet about caste discrimination, but was deplatformed by discriminatory and casteist disinformation at Alphabet. Tanuja Gupta, who helped organize the cancelled talk, was retaliated against (leading to her resignation) for furthering the cause of caste equity at the workplace. Alphabet not only failed its civil rights obligations to create a safe workplace but also chose to target women of color leaders instead of addressing its caste discrimination problem.

Caste should be recognized as a protected class by the federal government and be included in anti-harassment policies within our industry. Apple explicity prevents discrimination by caste among US employees since 2020. Alphabet’s anti-discrimination policy only explicitly prohibits caste-based discrimination in India: the policy should be raised to this standard worldwide, and caste should be included as a protected category to the US Code of Conduct.

Hear about our efforts on anti-caste organizing at Alphabet and how to take collective action towards bringing caste equity in our workplace:

Changing Alphabet
Changing Alphabet
Changing Alphabet

Before publicly announcing the Alphabet Workers Union on January 4th, 2021, our union has been involved in affecting change at Alphabet. We will continue to take action when there are injustices in the workplace and when we believe Alphabet isn’t living up to our values.

We will continue to share our efforts here and defend our fellow workers! When we organize, we win! To learn about our successful campaigns, check out our wins.

Workers deserve to work in an environment free from their abusers
Workers deserve to work in an environment free from their abusers
Workers deserve to work in an environment free from their abusers

Alphabet does not provide a safe environment for those who face harassment in the workplace. Even when HR confirms harassment, no action is taken to make the reporter safe. Alphabet protects the harasser instead of protecting the person harmed by the harassment. The person who reports harassment is forced to bear the burden, usually leaving Alphabet while their harasser stays or is rewarded for their behavior.

Alphabet must prioritize the safety of their workers by prioritizing the concerns of those harmed:

  • No reports for harassers. No harasser should manage or lead a team—whether directly or indirectly—including dotted line reports or managing temps, vendors, or contractors.
  • Mandatory team change for the harasser. Where there are verified claims of harassment, harassers must change teams so that workers are not forced to work with their harasser. HR already has a process in place for romantic relationships that could create potential workplace problems. They should use that same process. Alphabet has stricter polices around consensual relationships than they do for harassment.
No workers are discount
No workers are discount
No workers are discount

In spite of Alphabet’s record profits, Alphabet has decided to lower the pay for employees who work for Google in North Carolina’s Research Triangle offices and place this location into a discount pay band. Not only does this minimize the incredible work of Google employees—it also calls into question how committed Google is to hiring and retaining diverse employees. When offices were opened in Durham, Google celebrated these locations for their diversity and were excited to partner with historically Black colleges and universities (HCBUs).

We call on Google to return these offices to the national pay band, commit to full transparency with workers around future salary decisions, and realize our shared vision for a diverse and well paid workforce in this region.

Pay parity for all TVCs
Pay parity for all TVCs
Pay parity for all TVCs

We believe that all workers at Google should receive the full wages they are legally entitled to and have earned. We demand that Google immediately pay back all Temps, Vendors and Contractors (TVCs) who have been knowingly underpaid by Google.

It has recently come to light, as reported by The New York Times and The Guardian, that Google has knowingly underpaid TVCs across dozens of countries, in direct violation of pay parity laws across the globe. Google has consistently obscured its employees’ salaries—and now, we know more about why.

Join our fight to dismantle the two-tiered perma-temp system. Sign and share our letter for TVC workers!

Protect our workers rights
Protect our workers rights
Protect our workers rights

Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Google announced that full-time employees—but not temps, vendors and contractors—would have access to relocation services and $5000 in medical coverage for out-of-state procedures, including abortion and gender-affirming healthcare for workers who live in affected trigger-law states. What this fails to address is the tens of thousands of Alphabet contract workers who are more likely to live in states with restricted abortion access and more likely to be underpaid compared to full-time employees. Additionally these workers are more likely to be people who can become pregnant and workers of colors. These are the exact workers that this SCOTUS decision will most harm. Alphabet must stand by its stated support of abortion access and work with their temp, vendor, and contract workforce to identify and offer the types of support that would best protect these workers.

We are taking action.

We will continue to share our efforts here and defend our fellow workers! Join us to build power.

Join Us