Google union in turmoil after global alliance announcement

Following Monday’s declaration of an international coalition, the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) is in chaos. Alpha Global, the coalition, was billed as a worker-led project, but US union members admit they didn’t hear about it until an exclusive was released by The Verge.

The piece contained a quotation from AWU executive council member Parul Koul’s press release, which she claims she has not written.

The news was not well received by bewildered union members who were expecting the Alphabet Workers Union to run democratically.

To union officials who want the Alphabet Staff Union to run democratically, the news was an unexpected disappointment. Several sources now inform that some organizers of the AWU are considering pressing the party to disaffiliate with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a national union representing telecommunication and media workers. AWU has formed a committee to investigate the CWA’s role.

AWU executive council member, In a statement, Auni Ahsan informed that “We want to honor the concerns that have been raised, but our primary focus as a union isn’t affiliation or disaffiliation.”

As the ‘minority union’, it 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.

Its power comes in part from uniting Alphabet workers and swelling its membership base to mount public pressure campaigns.

The union has expanded from 230 members to more than 800 since the union went public on January 4th. But some members expressed fears that the Communications Workers of America were pressuring the union to go public early.

They even claim that without briefing Google staff first, the CWA has a tradition of publishing major announcements. The New York Times was told by Amr Gaber, a Google developer who helped coordinate the 2018 walkout, that the union had been more concerned with taking territory than responding to organisers’ needs.

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