Google has found itself in hot water over its handling of union organizing activity.
“The National Labor Relations Board is set to file a complaint against Google, finding it violated various labor laws last year, including engaging in unlawful surveillance of employees who were organizing and wrongfully terminating two of them.
According to the employees and their counsel, the complaint asks the company to reinstate site reliability engineer Laurence Berland and security engineer Kathryn Spiers.
Berland was fired in late November last year for what the company said were ‘repeated violations’ of data-security policies, but what he said was his activism over issues such as YouTube’s LGBTQ policies and his organizing work related to Google’s hiring of IRI Consultants, which is known for its anti-union work. Spiers was fired last December for creating a browser pop-up that could be seen by the company’s employees, which read: ‘Googlers have the right to participate in protected concerted activities.’
In a statement Wednesday, Berland said, “This complaint makes clear that workers have the right to speak to issues of ethical business and the composition of management.”
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., appears to be prepared to fight.
‘Of course employees have protected labor rights that we strongly support, but we have always taken information security very seriously,’ a Google spokeswoman said Wednesday. ‘We’re confident in our decision and legal position. Actions undertaken by the employees at issue were a serious violation of our policies and an unacceptable breach of a trusted responsibility.'”
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