Google Workers Launch Unconventional Union with the Help of Communication Workers of America

Following years of sordid history with unions in the tech industry, Google parent company Alphabet launched a union with unconventional means of achieving their goals. After frustrations with alleged unfair business practices and unethical business deals, this has lead workers who work at these companies to form their own union by whatever means necessary.

Why is the launch of this union unconventional?

For a union to be formed, the process usually starts after an election through the National Labor Relations Board, the government agency that enforces U.S labor law. If the majority of voters choose to join the union, the board will certify the union and will begin representing the workers and start collective bargaining.

The workers at Alphabet, however, are not trying to create their union through the NLRB. The union decided to form without federal ratification, limiting its rights. [1] However, this does not mean that the union itself is without power. The Communications Workers of America include many unions who do not have collective bargaining rights, including in places where collective bargaining is not permitted under state law.

Also unorthodox for this kind of union is that they have agreed to accept contractor workers into their ranks as well. Companies have been hiring more contract workers recently because it lowers their costs, as well removes them from any responsibility regarding protective labor and employee laws legislation[2]. These workers would not be protected under the NLRB, but because they are not ratifying their union federally, there is no reason to not include these workers in their ranks.

In this new union, there will be a paid board of directors, and all members will be expected to pay one percent of their total compensation to the Alphabet Workers Union. Though not the usual method of going about forming a union, leaders of the newly launched union hope that they will be able to be viewed by Alphabet as acting collectively as a workforce, and that the company will be forced to respect them as workers[3].

Reach Out to an Experienced Employment Law Firm for a Free Consultation

As employment attorneys in California, we are committed to ensuring our clients receive the rights they are entitled to as employees under state law, and ensuring any union protections that you are entitled to by state and federal law. If you believe that your rights as a union member are being breached by your employer, reach out to Makarem & Associates.

With some of the best employment law attorneys in California, we can provide you legal representation to help you reach the most ideal outcome.

Get in touch with Makarem & Associates for a free consultation over the phone at 310-312-0299 or email at [email protected] to receive the right legal counsel.


[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/04/google-union-cwa/

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/04/google-union-cwa/

[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/04/google-union-cwa/

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