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Google employees create union in the USA, but … And in Brazil, how is it?


Google employees founded a union organization fighting for rights and better working conditions. Called the Alphabet Workers’ Union, the group seeks to support Google’s more than 120,000 in-house employees and freelance and temporary workers in the United States, in addition to employees of its parent company, Alphabet.

Google has faced allegations of professional abuse and unethical policies for years. The union informs that it has not yet asked for formal recognition from the company, but has already obtained support from one of the largest labor unions in the country, CommunicationsWorkers of America (CWA).

The group seeks to receive the company’s more than 120 thousand professionals, in addition to partners, outsourced workers, suppliers and temporary workers, representing half of the entire Google team in the U.S..

The professional partners, however, because they work for another company that provides services to Google, do not have the same rights, benefits and wages. But in many cases they work within the Google office. One of the members, the software engineer, Dylan Baker, explains that the union will elect a representative and the decisions will be made democratically.

“We will pay fees and hire qualified managers to ensure that all Google employees know they can count on us if they really want their company to reflect their values,” he says. The union already has 227 registered employees. To be part, it is necessary to donate 1% of the salary to the group. Members are divided into workers at the headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., And subsidiary offices across the country.

“The only tactic that has ensured that workers are respected and heard is collective action … The Maven Project was canceled when thousands of Googlers promised they would not work on unethical technology. The forced arbitration ended when the Googlers left the world, ”writes the union in a press release.

THE The Hack contacted the union, asking if they are interested in receiving company employees in Brazil or other countries outside the US, but received no response.

It’s in Brazil?

The situation of Google’s outsourced employees in Brazil is not very different from that of the USA. Although American labor law is very different from ours here in Brazil, internal problems can be very similar.

The Hack heard from a former employee, who preferred not to identify himself, that some third-party companies, so-called partnerships, require their developers to deliver a complicated solution in no time. But do not offer the right working conditions.

“15/16 hour workdays, no hour bank, low salary, a lot of pressure, manager pissing, talking shit, even cursing you. It gets bizarre. I’ve seen professionals who should earn R $ 6 thousand, earning R $ 2 thousand per month”, He says. The machine learning engineer says that his psychiatrist offered a medical report to sue the company who worked, after a Burnout Syndrome crisis that he had after about a year and a half working in these conditions.

The relationship

According to the source, to avoid having a very large office in Brazil, with many programmers and hired employees, Google, just like other technology companies, prefers to outsource the development service by hiring partner companies.

“Google (and several other companies as well), to avoid having a gigantic office in Brazil, full of employees, with all those amenities and benefits that they love to say they have (which is really very good), they have several other companies who provide services to them, are the partners ”, he says.

These partner companies receive a value above the market average, since Google customers are big and are willing to pay good money for the solution, as long as delivery is fast, informs the source. “A company is looking to Google to develop an artificial intelligence application, for example. Then the Google hires a company to develop this solution and shares the profit with it. It is an agreement that varies, sometimes more for Google, sometimes more for the partner ”.

To be a Google partner, it is necessary to fulfill some requirements, such as, above all, to have employees certified in how to use the company’s tools. “It is a partnership program, which meets certain requirements, such as tests and certifications”, he explains.

“They offer a software development platform, but they do not develop software for customers, who develop it are the partner companies. Google passes on demand to partners and they who turn to deliver on time. It is an indirect outsourcing, at the end. They are not outsourcing the cleaning or the restaurant, but the product. ”

It is important to remember that, the source believes that the problem is the system and not the companies, individually. “Google is only part of the problem. The customer wants the solution for a week, we [os desenvolvedores] it takes two months to do, but they want us to do it in two weeks. Google, partners, the customer, stakeholders … The problem is dealing with these busy deadlines”, He concludes.

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