Announced Monday morning, the Alphabet Workers’ Union will be run by employees and open both to full-time workers and contractors at the tech giant.
“We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce,” said Kara Silverstein, Google’s director of people operations, in a statement to CNN Business. “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.”
“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,” the workers wrote in the Times op-ed. “Our bosses have collaborated with repressive governments around the world. They 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.”
The organizers made special mention of Timnit Gebru, a top AI researcher who recently departed from Google after she criticized the company’s diversity efforts — sparking an outcry over Google’s workplace practices.