The Communications Workers of America union has filed a federal labor charge against Alphabet Inc’s Google accusing the tech giant of firing four employees to deter workers from engaging in union activities.
The complaint is likely to trigger a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigation into whether Google had violated the four individuals’ right to raise concerns about working conditions.
Typically, when companies are found guilty in such cases, the NLRB tries to help accusers and the accused to reach a settlement.
Although Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing of the complaint it did state however that four workers were let go last month for violating the company’s data-security policies.
According to Laurie Burgess, an attorney at Messing Adam & Jasmine who worked on the NLRB filing, the CWA union has been trying to organize workers at Google. The CWA stepped forward to make the charge “because it has been harmed by Google’s actions,” said Burgess.
According to the complaint, Google investigated and fired the four named employees “to discourage and chill employees from engaging in protected concerted and union activities”.
“Its actions are the antithesis of the freedoms and transparency it publicly touts.”
Google has long prided itself to be a company that listens to the feedback from its its employees and even adjusting course on the spot based on ideas at company-wide meetings.
Google now serves more than 3 billion consumers and business customers across navigation, search, and health technology; the tech giant is also facing fierce competition in advertising and increased regulatory scrutiny.
In the last year, Google has cut back on its company-wide meetings, as it deals with a much broader influx of elements in its unorthodox culture.