Two Google software engineers announced they will form a union open to all employees of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and accused the tech giant of collaborating with repressive governments, mishandling accusations of sexual misconduct against executives and other wrongdoing.
“For far too long, thousands of us at Google — and other subsidiaries of Alphabet, Google’s parent company — have had our workplace concerns dismissed by executives,” engineers Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw wrote. “Our bosses … have developed artificial intelligence technology for use by the Department of Defense and profited from ads by a hate group. They have failed to make the changes necessary to meaningfully address our retention issues with people of color.”
Two hundred twenty-six Alphabet employees have signed union cards with the Communications Workers of America, meaning the workers are on their way to being recognized as a union, Koul and Shaw wrote.
“Alphabet continues to crack down on those who dare to speak out, and keep workers from speaking on sensitive and publicly important topics, like antitrust and monopoly power,” Koul and Shaw wrote. “For a handful of wealthy executives, this discrimination and unethical working environment are working as intended, at the cost of workers with less institutional power, especially Black, brown, queer, trans, disabled, and women workers.”
“Each time workers organize to demand change, Alphabet’s executives make token promises, doing the bare minimum in the hopes of placating workers,” they continued.
Google responded to the employees’ claims on Monday morning.
“We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce,” Kara Silverstein, director of people operations, said in a statement. “Of course our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”