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Google contractors in Kansas City unite for the first time under the Alphabet Worker Union


A technician takes wires out of his truck to install Google Fiber.

George Frey | Reuters

Google Fiber Contractors in Kansas City, Missouri voted to unify on Friday, becoming the first workers with bargaining power under the Alphabet Workers Union.

The team of 10 full-time workers are employed by BDS Connected Solutions through Alphabet and work in a retail store of Google Fiber, the project to provide high-speed internet access to 19 US markets.

Last month, workers at the Google Fiber site petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to officially trade union recognition after Google and BDS did not voluntarily agree to allow it. Worker told CNBC they faced attempts to sabotage the union leading up to the vote.

The National Labor Relations Board tallied and approved the March ballots on Friday. The 9:1 vote marks the first position of Google workers united in the Alphabet Workers Union, which is create a year ago with Communications Workers of America (CWA) amid growing tension between workers and Google management.

The Alphabet worker Union currently has more than 800 members in various locations throughout the company, but otherwise operates through a “minority union” model, which means it has no bargaining power with leadership.

However, Kansas City workers have bargaining power, and the union’s ability to gain bargaining leverage may motivate other groups of workers to pursue their own elections.

“Our campaign has encountered many attempts to prevent us from exercising our right to a collective voice in our work. However, it has always been clear to all of us that together we can positively shape our communities. our working conditions to ensure we all have access to the quality pay, benefits and protections we’ve earned,” said Eris Derickson, Retail Associate at BDS Connected Solutions and Google Fiber said in a statement Friday. We all love our work with Google Fiber and look forward to coming to the negotiating table with BDS Connectivity Solutions to set a new standard for our workplace to improve the overall employee experience. , customers and companies. “

The Google Fiber unit alliance drive is part of a broader movement in the tech industry that is slowly gaining momentum. Amazon workers in some locations are try to mergeincluding at a warehouse in Alabama, where they were in the process of voting for the second time whether to form a union or not. Staff votes from a separate drive on New York’s Staten Island will be counted on Monday.

A Google spokesperson told CNBC: “We have a variety of contracts with both organized and non-union suppliers, and respect the right of their employees to choose whether to join a union or not. are not”. “The decision of these contractors to join the US Communications Workers is a matter between the worker and their employer, BDS Solutions Group.”

A spokesperson for BDS Connected Solutions was not immediately available for comment.



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