Google contract staffers working on AI face termination alleges Labour Union !
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Google contract staffers working on AI face termination alleges Labor Union !
Tech giant Alphabet is ending employment contracts for a majority of the Google Help workers who were trying to unionize. Alphabet Workers Union claims that the decision by Google’s parent company is in violation of the federal labor law which protects the employees from retaliatory action by the employers for unionizing.
More than 70% of employees in the proposed bargaining unit were told in July that they would lose their jobs, Bloomberg reported, citing a National Labor Relations Board filing. The employees, based in Austin, Texas, the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of the U.S., were informed of the job cuts in a live-streamed “town hall” that did not allow for questions or comments from employees.
The bargaining unit includes 118 writers, graphic designers and launch coordinators responsible for creating internal and external content for the search giant. The employees also reportedly worked on improving the quality of Google’s search results and AI chatbot, and were hired through Accenture. However, the workers claim that Google is also legally their boss and have asked the NLRB to designate the search giant as a joint employer of the Accenture employees.
After announcing the job cuts in July, Accenture said it supported its employees’ efforts to form or join unions. It added: “As conveyed to our people recently, these workforce decisions were made prior to any notification to us of potential union activity.”
The Bloomberg report noted that in 2018, the majority of Alphabet’s contract workers became part of its global workforce. In another case, a group of Alphabet contract workers employed by Congnizant Technology Solutions Corp. had voted 41-0 to unionize in April this year. Later, on July 19, NLRB members upheld a regional director’s ruling that Alphabet was the joint employer of those workers.
Statement by Google !
A spokesperson for Google said in July that the company respects the workers’ rights but that organising was “a matter between them and their employer, Accenture,” and that “Google does not control their employment terms or working conditions.”
The company on Thursday said it still stands by that statement, and rejected the idea that changes for the Accenture Google Help contract were for any purpose other than savings and efficiency. Google said it chooses its partners and staffing agencies carefully and reviews their compliance with the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
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