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Google contractors file complaints with National Labor Relations Board

Written by Fri 14 Oct 2022

The Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) has filed several complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that contractors at Google were fired for union activity and ties.

In a complaint filed against Google and data centre contractor Modis, the AWU claims that two contractors were terminated for union ties for discussing their working conditions. Further, in a separate event, a third worker at the same Council Bluffs, Iowa data centre was retaliated against for taking an active role with the union.

Last year, the company reached a settlement with the AWU after a complaint was filed on behalf of a data centre contractor at Google. The union said that the company violated labor law by prohibiting workers from talking about working conditions including pay and benefits, and for suspending a technician who made a pro-union Facebook post.

When this incident was settled, it included a provision that the company would no longer prevent workers from discussing their working conditions. The new complaint alleges that the company’s actions against contractors at the Council Bluffs data centre violates this agreement.

Read more: Google data centre employees speak out against unfair treatment

A separate complaint was filed this week on behalf of two contract security guards at North and South Carolina data centres. The contractors had spoken out about a lack of benefits, including sick days and parental leave, and as a result they lost their security clearances. Without security clearances, they are unable to work – effectively terminated.

One of the underlying issues with the complaints against Google is the fact that, in the data centre, it is difficult to know which employees are regular, full-time employees of the company and which are contractors based on the work they do. Regular employees and contractors often have similar responsibilities, but without the same treatment, pay, or benefits.

One Google employee said, “Attendance policies are different, the work expectations are definitely quite different. I work with plenty of Google FTEs who do nothing most of the day, and that is acceptable for them. But TVCs (temps, vendors, and contractors) would get a talking-to if they didn’t close X number of cases in a day.”

Written by Fri 14 Oct 2022


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