FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2023 3:00 PM
(San Francisco, CA)—On Thursday, August 3, 2023 the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Google and Accenture for their retaliatory layoffs against Google Help workers who had announced their desire to unionize on June 8, 2023. When workers filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, over 70% of the eligible 119 workers had signed union authorization cards. Google and Accenture announced layoffs impacting over 80 Google Help workers subcontracted through Accenture on Thursday, July 6, 2023.
The union is composed of writers & graphic designers who create internal and external Google content, including materials for Google Help support pages. Workers have listed both Google and Accenture as joint employers due to the direct role both companies play in shaping working conditions and completed their hearing with the NLRB regarding the issue of joint employer last week.
“When my coworkers and I announced our union with overwhelming support, Google and Accenture management refused to acknowledge us. A few short weeks later they announced their response—that they would be laying off dozens of employees. These jobs aren’t going away though, we’re just being asked to train our replacements abroad. It’s clear that our work is critical to Google’s success, but the company isn’t interested in respecting US based jobs. We will continue to organize and exercise our legal right to a protected voice on the job,” said Anjail Muhammad, general writer at Accenture and Google.
The first wave of layoffs will impact workers on Monday, August 7th and continue on a rolling basis until the end of the year. During this time, workers are being asked to train their replacements, who have been hired offshore and thus eliminating US based jobs. Google claimed during the recent Joint Employer hearing with the National Labor Relations Board that the decision to layoff workers was made well in advance of the announced unionization effort, but was unable to present documented evidence to support this point.
"It’s interesting that Google claims they’ve got no responsibility to us as workers, even though we spend everyday working on Google products, under conditions set by the company. Google has also claimed that the decision to layoff workers was made before we announced our union—yet, in our recent joint employer hearing they couldn’t cite any documentation to prove this point. The timing is suspicious and shows a clear disregard for the organizing rights of workers. Despite their efforts, our union remains strong and we’re confident that we’d win an election no matter what, but we’d prefer if all our coworkers had a chance to have their voices heard. We cannot force Google and Accenture to follow basic labor law, but we can and will continue to organize,” said Tahlia Kirk, general writer at Accenture and Google and member of the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA.
Workers will continue to organize and hope to hold their union election as soon as possible to ensure workers can bring both Google and Accenture to the bargaining table.
Alphabet Workers Union - CWA unites full-time employees, temporary employees, vendors, and contractors at Google and other Alphabet companies in the United States and Canada in collective action to ensure that our workplace is equitable and that Alphabet acts ethically. We are members of Communications Workers of America Local 9009 and currently represent over 1,400 workers across Alphabet. Learn more at alphabetworkersunion.org or follow us at @AlphabetWorkers.