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Google Employees Create Global Union Alliance, ‘Alpha Global’

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Google workers took their unionization push to a global level on Monday by setting up an international union alliance.

Alpha Global, a name inspired by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, includes workers from 13 unions in 10 countries, as reported by The Verge.

Earlier this month, more than 400 US workers at Google and Alphabet formed a new union — the Alphabet Workers Union — saying they want to push the tech giant to live up to its original motto: “Don’t be evil.” The international coalition echoed that sentiment.

“In a world where inequality is tearing apart, our societies and corporations are hoarding more influence than ever, reclaiming our power through our unions has never been more important,” Google software engineer Parul Koul said in a statement. “Companies like Alphabet can have a huge, positive impact on the world if they are willing to listen to — and negotiate with — their workers.”

In order to make the company live it up to its stated ideals, the unions of Alpha Global are committed to:

  • Creating a common strategy and supporting each other’s demands as well as our collective goals.
  • Working side-by-side to build local organizations that reflect the values and interests of the employees.  
  • Fighting for the rights of direct Alphabet employees as well as temporary, vendor, and contract workers  
  • Calling on other trade unions to join our struggle and support our movement for Alphabet and all tech workers.

Global union alliances allow workers in several countries to push for shared goals and to raise standards throughout a company’s entire operations. For example, UNI’s Amazon Global Union Alliance has spearheaded international actions around common demands. Alliances at ICTS companies like Orange and Telefonica help establish and enforce global principles — like respect for labour rights.

In an emailed statement, Google said it’s “always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace.”

“We’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees” Kara Silverstein, the company’s director of people operations, wrote.

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