Barely three weeks after Google employees in the US registered a minority union, an international amalgam is coming to the fore. Employees of the search engine giant, spread across 10 countries, have reportedly formed ‘Alpha Global’ – an international union alliance.
The coalition’s stated objective is to hold Alphabet Inc – Google’s parent company – “accountable”, The Verge reported. The alliance includes 13 unions, and has been registered with UNI Global, the report added.
The affiliation with UNI Global holds significance as the group was responsible for organising the coordinated “black friday strikes” in 2020 to pressurise Amazon Inc to raise the minimum wages of their workers.
Before the emergence of Alpha Global, the AWU was formed on January 4. The union, after starting with a miniscule strength of 250 members, raised its overall membership to over 700 within a week.
The numbers deny AWU the strength to bring Google to the negotiating table. The union, however, is not focusing on the sole issue of wage increment.
Members of the union said their efforts are aimed at providing structure and longevity to activism at Google, rather than negotiating contracts, NYT had reported.
Alpha Global, which is expected to spearhead the agenda laid out by AWU, includes Google employees based in the following 10 countries – the US, Switzerland, Ireland, UK, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Belgium.
Fionnuala Ní Bhrógáin, an organizer with the Communications Workers’ Union in Ireland and member of UNI Global, told The Verge that a global amalgam of tech giant workers is essential to hold the companies accountable.
“If they’re acting in this way nearly entirely unchecked by governments then there is no hold on what they can do. That power needs to be checked, and it’s only through collective action that workers are able to do that,” Bhrógáin said.