New Yorkers might be interested in learning that cafeteria workers at Google campuses in and around the San Francisco Bay Area are unionizing. According to news sources, 2,300 cafeteria workers at Google campuses in the Bay Area recently did so after a majority of them voted to form a union.
The cafeteria workers are contracted by Google through a third party called Compass Group. That company stated that it will engage in good faith negotiations with the union to reach a collective bargaining agreement. The workers are organizing through Unite Here, a union that represents around 300,000 employees in the food service, hotel, casino, warehouse, and laundry industries.
The workers complain that they are underpaid and overworked. Some report that they have been pressured to work extra hours without receiving overtime pay. Others report that they have been bullied and are the victims of casual racism. The workers have starting salaries of just $35,000 per year while working at Google, one of the richest companies in the U.S. Their success at unionizing is a bright spot within the tech industry as other tech workers have not been as successful in organizing.
Workers who want to form unions might benefit from talking to experienced labor law attorneys. The lawyers might offer some guidance about the steps that workers can take to form unions. If the workers are met with resistance from their companies, the attorneys might also help them with pursuing the legal remedies that might be available to them. Labor law attorneys might also help with the negotiation process between the union and the company to try to facilitate good collective bargaining agreements that protect the rights of all of the unionized employees.
Source: VOX, “Thousands of Google’s cafeteria workers have unionized“, Shirin Ghaffary, Dec. 31, 2019