About 80 technical contractors working for Google in Pittsburgh will join the steelworkers union after a majority vote in the merger in the recent efforts of the tech industry's huge "shadow" workforce to provide better pay and benefits.
Google uses contractors from a company called HCL Technologies, and last month HCL technicians at a Google office in the city announced their plan to merge. At the time, contractors said that while working with full Google employees, they had received only a few of the same benefits.
Google has been criticized for using temporary, vendor, and contract workers who outnumber the firm's multiple employees but can have significantly lower salaries and fewer benefits. While some contractors in the technology industry, such as security guards, have voted in favor of a merger before, the alliance of technical contractors is less frequent. A successful union can lay the groundwork for more organized efforts in the industry.
"We work with many partners, many of whom have a combined workforce and many do not," a Google spokesman said in a message. "As with all our partners, whether or not HCL employees are teaming up, their partner is their employer. We will continue to partner with HCL. "
The reunification process is scheduled to go through a negotiation phase while HCL workers negotiate with the company for a contract.
" We deserve more respect, dignity and democracy in our relationship with our employer, "a worker at HCL Joshua Borden "We fought for a seat on the table and won today. We look forward to concluding a contract that reflects our important contribution to the continued success of HCL."