First Google Fiber workers vote to unionize

 A collective of Google Fiber workers in Kansas City, Missouri, has won the required support to join the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU), a division of Communications Workers of America (CWA). Google Fiber subcontractors voted 9-1 in favor of unionizing, according to a U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announcement Friday.

The union vote comes at a pivotal time for Google Fiber, as the company looks to expand its sales and technical staff throughout the South and Midwest U.S.

Covered workers, employed by BDS Connected Solutions, will be the first Google Fiber employees in the U.S. to be formally represented by AWU-CWA. Retail associates at multiple Google Fiber locations across Kansas City will be eligible for union membership.

Eris Derickson, a retail associate at BDS Connected Solutions and Google Fiber, said in a statement the new bargaining unit looks “forward to sitting at the negotiating table with BDS Connected Solution[s] to set a new standard for our workplace to improve both worker, customer and company experience.”

The workers initially filed a union petition with the NLRB on January 4. A total of 10 out of 11 Google Fiber workers in a Kansas City retail store signed union cards with the AWU-CWA, urging NLRB to grant them bargaining rights.

AWU, established on January 4, 2021, is part of CWA’s Coalition to Organize Digital Employees (CODE) project. Over 250 Google engineers and employees, including contractors, make up the union.

“We are proud to stand with our fellow Alphabet workers as they head to the negotiating table to secure the pay, benefits and rights they have earned,” said Andrew Gainer-Dewar, Google software engineer and member of AWU-CWA. Alphabet relies on temporary workers and contractors to provide essential work for the company, he added.