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Google workers form new labor union, a tech industry rarity

The workers represent a fraction of the company's workforce, far short of the threshold needed to get formal recognition as a collective bargaining group.
Credit: AP

A group of Google engineers have announced that they have begun to form a union, which create a rare foothold for the labor movement in the tech industry. 

About 225 employees at Google and its parent company Alphabet, are the first members of the Alphabet Workers Union who are paying dues. These members represent just a fraction of Alphabet's workforce, which is far short of the amount needed to get formal recognition as a collective bargaining group in the United States. 

Google software engineer Dylan Baker said in a statement, “This is historic—the first union at a major tech company by and for all tech workers.” Baker went on to detail more on how the group with operate, and was quoted in TechCrunch saying, "we will elect representatives, we will make decisions democratically, we will pay dues, and we will hire skilled organizers to ensure all workers at Google know they can work with us if they actually want to see their company reflect their values.” 

The group's dues-paying members members say they want more of a voice not just on wages and benefits, but also on protections against discrimination and harassment. They also seek to tackle broader ethical questions about how Google pursues its business ventures.

The group of over 200 employees have solicited the help of Communications Workers of America Union's Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA), and the group wants to be open to both employees as well as contractors, as multiple outlets have reported

As TechCrunch reported, the members who have committed so far will set aside 1% of their yearly compensation for union dues, and the majority of those who've signed on are based in the company's San Francisco offices. The members include employees such as sales associates, engineers, administrative assistants as well as employees who test self-driving vehicles at Alphabet's automotive division, Waymo, in California. 

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Credit: AP
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris.

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