The Alphabet Staff Union (AWU) handed 700 members on Monday, rising from roughly 230 at launch on January 4th. The group, which is open to staff and contractors at Google’s guardian firm, consists of staff from 35 workplaces within the US and Canada.
AWU organized in secret for nearly a yr, earlier than going public with an op-ed in The New York Times final week. The information prompted an outpouring of assist from tech staff in Silicon Valley. “We had been excited to see the response of the general public and staff,” says Alan Morales, a Google engineer. “Now we’re welcoming all of our new members and listening to their motivations for becoming a member of.”
As a minority union, AWU can’t force Google management to come to the table to negotiate. However it might probably attempt to strain executives by rallying members towards a trigger. That’s precisely what occurred final week, when AWU called on YouTube to permanently ban Trump within the wake of a raid on the US Capitol on January sixth.
“YouTube refuses to carry Donald Trump accountable to the platform’s personal guidelines by selecting solely to take away one video as a substitute of eradicating him from the platform fully,” they wrote. The corporate “is avoiding the proactive motion known as for by each their staff and the broader public.”
The union categorized the letter as a public assertion. Thus far, it hasn’t put out a listing of calls for, because it desires to listen to from new members earlier than selecting main initiatives.
As of this morning, YouTube hasn’t modified its stance.
California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a former labor organizer, tells The Verge that AWU’s minority union construction might present a template for staff at different tech corporations. “I’m excited that it’s a little bit bit totally different,” she says. “One of many challenges we’ve confronted in organizing the tech sector is that it won’t be achievable in the usual Nationwide Labor Relations Board format.”