Saturday, October 16, 2021

Play

Community college students in California are encouraged to examine their options; plus a Boeing 737 Max test pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators.

Play

Environmentalists have high hopes for President Biden at an upcoming climate summit, a bipartisan panel cautions against court packing, and a Trump ally is held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.

Play

A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Google Employees Launch Rare Tech-Industry Union

Play

Tuesday, January 12, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Google employees are forming the Alphabet Workers Union, both to push their parent company toward greater social responsibility and to ensure workers are treated fairly.

It's a rare occurrence in the technology industry, but Andrew Gainer-Dewar, a software engineer at Google and a founding member of the union, said Alphabet workers have a history of workplace activism. In 2018, more than 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout over the parent company's handling of issues of sexual harassment. And just last month, roughly 2,000 Google employees signed a letter requesting transparency about the exit of Dr. Timnit Gebru from the company. She's an AI researcher who criticized Alphabet's lack of diversity.

"We want to see Alphabet's leadership move towards more accountability," Gainer-Dewar said. "We want to see them take responsibility for what we've built and for its potential to both do really amazing things for people, but also to provide a space where really horrible things can spread and grow."

Gainer-Dewar said the power of YouTube, an Alphabet subsidiary, was on display last week when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, many after seeing videos on Youtube or other social media platforms. He said there's a sense among members that Alphabet has ample power, but is no longer accountable to what their workers want.

Gainer-Dewar said when it comes to workers rights, one of the main focuses will be the two-tiered system of hiring. He said there are full-time employees with long-term contracts, good pay and benefits, while others work as contractors or through vendor companies - with worse benefits, pay and working conditions - and often do essentially the same work full-time employees do.

"They have these kind of precarious contracts that can be taken away from them at any time, or are just set to terminate on some fixed term right from the beginning," he said.

The Alphabet Workers Union, which is affiliated with the Communication Workers of America Local 1400, had more than 200 members upon launching last week. It has since grown to more than 600. The Union is open to anyone employed by Alphabet, either directly or through a vendor or short-term contract.


get more stories like this via email

As of 2021, medical aid in dying is an option for terminally ill adults in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is …


Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …


There are an estimated 42,000 farms in Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …

Virginia's statewide election is Tues., Nov. 2, and polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …

Social Issues

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021