A group of nearly 230 workers from Google parent company Alphabet launched a union on Monday, a move that could push tech worker organizing beyond petitions and protests. They represent a fraction of Alphabet’s workforce, far short of the threshold needed to get formal recognition as a collective bargaining group in the U.S.
But the new union, which will be affiliated with the larger Communication Workers of America, says it will serve as a “structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company.” Its members say they want more of a voice not just on wages, benefits and protections against discrimination and harassment but also broader ethical questions about how Google pursues its business ventures. It’s the latest organizing effort by tech workers, who have gone public with frustrations over what they say are unfair labor practices and unethical business deals in recent years. Amazon workers are attempting to form a union at a warehouse in Alabama, while Google contractors in Pittsburgh have voted to form a union. By the end of Monday, the union said the number of new members had grown to more than 400. Google didn’t immediately return an emailed request for comment Monday.