Soon after the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was formed by Google employees in the US another union got formed called Alpha Global. While AWU is just for Google employees in the US, Alpha Global is formed by employees from across 13 regions in 10 countries which includes the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States. The objective of both the union seems to be simple: prevent Google from being evil, but if only they can co-exist.
As per a report by The Verge, the AWU had no clue about an international union called Alpha Global being formed. In fact, some members of the AWU only got to know about the international union after The Verge posted a news article about the same. The surprise appearance of another union, which is spread across multiple countries, is not something that is going well with the members of AWU and as the report claimed that it was an “unwelcome surprise”.
The report by The Verge said, “AWU organizers are considering pushing the group to disaffiliate from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a national union representing workers in telecommunications and media.”
Members of the AWU now feel they are a minority in this fight which they claim to have started first. The report added, “AWU isn’t recognized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and can’t require Alphabet or its subsidiaries like Google to negotiate a contract for its members.” It’s prowess can only be derived by adding more members and opting for “public pressure campaigns”.
As for the new international union, it is affiliated with the UNI Global Union– a major federation of labor unions. Other than the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland; the alliance includes unions from Italy, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Belgium.
Having said that the union has no legally binding agreement with Google, at least for now. But yes, it does plan to pressure Google to sign a neutrality agreement moving forward.