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!
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.
We're a team of nearly 120 writers and designers who filed for a union election on June 9, 2023. While we've gained significant media attention for the brief 2 months we were forced to work on Google AI, our actual job is to be the driving force behind Google's support articles.
Although our paychecks come from Accenture, we're claiming Google as our joint employer because they're the true showrunners for every decision that affects our working conditions.
While our team is spread across many time zones, we have hubs concentrated in Austin, TX and California.
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.
We, the workers of YouTube Music, employed by Cognizant Technology Solutions and Google, are on a ULP strike after both companies retaliated against our legal right to unionize.
The vast majority of us were hired remotely, from all over Texas and all over the country. After we filed for our union election, the companies announced a “return to office” plan, telling our coworkers that if they didn’t move to Austin and report to the office, they would lose their jobs. Our employers are now threatening to move our work overseas or take other actions against us if we support our union.
We decided democratically to strike to protect our coworkers' jobs and our union!
Our members are fighting back for their union and their livelihoods and they need YOUR HELP!
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.