Teamsters Local Union 853 announced yesterday that workers at Palo Alto-based Google Express Services filed for a representation election. The more than 140 warehouse and shipping workers sought out the Teamsters for help with improving working conditions, treatment on the job and compensation.
Google Express Services, operated by Adecco, provides products shipped from local businesses to consumers on a same-day or overnight basis. Workers are required to sign short-term employment agreements with Adecco that limit them to two years before the company lets them go. Workers have also alleged subjection to constant harassment to work faster in poor conditions that includes damaged equipment, cracked floors and failing electrical systems that have resulted in fires.
“The reports we have received from workers at Google Express paint a bleak picture,” said International Vice President and Local 853 principal officer Rome Aloise. “It is surprising that Google, a company that prides itself on the treatment of its workforce, would allow this behavior to continue at Adecco.”
In fact, in a July 17 interview on KQED, the Bay Area’s public radio station, top human resources executive Laszlo Bock stressed the importance of the company and its contractors recognizing and respecting its workers’ right to organize. When asked by a caller what Google’s stance would be on its contractors’ interaction with employees that seek union representation, Bock made clear that the company expects them to not interfere.
“Folks have a legal right to organize without fear of retaliation,” Bock said in the interview. “And that’s a critical and important thing and we respect that. I mean, there would not and will not be retaliation.”
The Teamsters Union is part of a growing movement of labor, faith and community-based organizations and workers challenging income inequality in Silicon Valley through an innovative partnership called Silicon Valley Rising.
For more information on tech worker organizing with the Teamsters, visit: http://teamster.org/tech-drivers-deserve-union.