About 80 technical contractors who work for Google in Pittsburgh will join the United Steelworkers union after a majority has voted in favor of the union, in the latest attempt by the huge "shadow" workforce of the technology industry to gain improved wages and benefits.
Google uses contractors from a company called HCL Technologies, and last month HCL technicians worked at a Google office in the city announced their plan to unite. The contractors said at the time that, despite their collaboration with full Google employees, they had only received a few of the same benefits.
The workers were planning to vote for a union with the United Steelworkers Union, or USW. In an announcement published today, the USW said that a majority of contractors had voted for a trade union.
Google has been criticized for the use of temporary workers, suppliers and contract workers surpass full-time employees at the company, but can have considerably lower wages and fewer benefits. Although some contractors in the technical industry, such as security officers, have previously voted in favor of a union, a union of technical contractors is rarer. The successful trade union pressure could pave the way for more organizational efforts in the industry.
"We work with many partners, many of which have trade unions and many do not," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “As with all our partners, it is important whether the employees of HCL have a trade union or not between them and their employer. We continue to work with HCL. "
The trade union process is now set to go to the negotiation phase because HCL employees negotiate a contract with the company.
"We deserve more respect, dignity and democracy in our relationship with our employer," said HCL employee Joshua Borden in a statement. “We fought for a place at the table and today we won. We look forward to concluding a contract that reflects our major contributions to the continued success of HCL. "