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Google contractor accused of retaliation against unionized employees

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The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shadeSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google contractor HCL has been accused of taking retaliatory action against Pittsburgh employees who unionized last year.
  • The company has gone as far as to offshore jobs to take work away from contractors.
  • Google has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the complaint.

Google contractor HCL has been accused of taking retaliatory action against employees who had unionized in Pittsburgh.

The National Labor Relations Board filed a formal complaint against the company on Thursday, citing repeated instances of this behavior.

The New York Times reports:

According to the complaint, managers at the company interrogated workers about the organizing activities of their colleagues, told them that promotions and wages were being delayed because of the union campaign, and threatened to enforce work rules more strictly if the union was created, in violation of federal labor law.

After the employees voted to unionize, the labor board asserts, the company began shifting some of the work that they performed to Poland. HCL also limited their ability to participate in training sessions and required employees to take periodic "quick check" quizzes, according to the complaint.

"Sending work out of the country during a pandemic was especially kind of an unconscionable action," said Joshua Borden, an HCL worker active in the union. "They were trying to take jobs away from us in retaliation for organizing to have a fair workplace."

The employees had organized back in 2019, doing so under the United Steelworkers Union. Since then, HCL took the actions described above in what has been described as a bid to punish them. Further frustrating actions included HCL's unilaterally changing of policies revolving around breaks, vacation, family leave, and 401(k) contributions. The company has repeatedly refused to bargain with the union in all instances, acting without regard for the contractors.

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While Google has yet to comment on the story, the NLRB complaint has been set to be heard on February 9, 2021. It is worth noting that while the employees do work for Google via HCL, Google has not been accused of any wrongdoing at this time.

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