Contract workers at Google data centers said they lost jobs for backing a union and faced retaliation after negotiating better perks.

The complaint was filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, October 5.

It was against Google and Modis, a subcontracting information technology firm.

The Alphabet Workers Union, whose members include both direct and subcontracted employees of Alphabet, objected to the anti-union tactics.

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Two workers at the Council Bluffs, Iowa, data center were fired for sharing their workplace conditions and union ties.

Another worker at the site suffered retaliation because of being a union member.

This year, labor groups were working to make inroads inside giant tech firms, traditionally considered hostile to unionization.

Other conglomerates like Amazon and Apple have seen labor campaigns in recent months with mixed results. 

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Two contract security guards at Google data centers in North and South Carolina claim to lose their security clearances after sharing workplace conditions.

They discussed a lack of perks like sick leave and parental leave and couldn’t work without their security clearances.

A Google software engineer and the executive chair of AWU Parul Koul noted these appear to be the first cases in which Alphabet workers were sacked for their union membership.

Google is identified in the suits as a “joint employer,” or a firm having enough authority over a group of employees to be legally accountable for their treatment.

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However, the company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments. 

Another NLRB suit filed by AWU on behalf of a Google subcontracted data center worker in South Carolina was settled last year.

As part of that agreement, the tech giant agreed not to silence employees regarding their salaries.

AWU argues that the treatment of the workers in Council Bluffs breaches that settlement.

Source: Bloomberg

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