In a historic move, a group of more than 200 Google and Alphabet workers have announced the formation of the Alphabet Workers Union. The New York Times first reported the formation of the group, which had significant help from the Communication Workers of American Union’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA).
The union is open to both contractors and employees. All of the roughly 227 workers who have signed in to support the union have set aside 1% of their yearly compensation to pay union dues.
Those dues are used to compensate those who lose wages if there is a strike.
The union is still small
Most of the workers who have signed on to the Union are from the San Francisco Bay Area and one from Cambridge. To offer clarity, Alphabet Workers Union is not a traditional thing and currently only has 227 workers out of the 132,121 people who work for the multinational corporation.
The intent of the union is not necessarily to haggle with Alphabet-owned companies but to work toward common missions.
Dylan Baker, a software engineer at Google said that the union will elect representatives, make democratic decisions, pay dues and hire skilled organizers to ensure Google employees know they can join in, and be part of a company that reflects their values.
A new age of tech unions
The union arrives following the creation of other unions in tech companies like Glitch and Kickstarter in early 2020.
Workers at HCL Technologies, a Google contractor in Pittsburg, and tech company cafeteria workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, all formed unions last year.
The tech and gaming companies are organizing, driven by the new generation of workers who work at companies that pay them a lot while doing shady things. It seems workers have had enough and are seeking accountability and social justice through unions.