Google accused of illegally terminating contract staffers who worked on AI: Report - DeviceFile

Google accused of illegally terminating contract staffers who worked on AI: Report

The Alphabet Workers Union filed a report to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board

accusing Google of violating labor law that prohibits retaliation against organizing.

Google and Accenture, who have a joint business venture, are being accused by the

Alphabet Workers Union of being in violation of federal labor laws in the United States,

according to a Bloomberg report.

The union claims that Alphabet Inc. acted against a law that prohibits retaliation against

employees for organizing, the report says, citin an Aug. 3 complaint from the union to

the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

Allegedly, Alphabet ended contract employment for a majority of Google Help workers as they were in the process of unionizing.

The report from Bloomberg said over 70% of the “proposed bargaining unit” were told they

would lose their jobs, this included 118 writers, graphic designers and launch coordinators

responsible for creating content for Google both internally and externally.

Workers who are responsible for Google search engine optimization and artificial

intelligence (AI) chatbot are employed via Accenture.

Anjail Muhammad, a writer with Accenture who was told her job will be eliminated,

said it felt “retaliatory,” according to the Bloomberg report.

“It’s obvious that this timing is incredibly suspicious, and that is why we are filing an unfair labor

practice charge — to hold Google and Accenture accountable for their behavior.”

In July when jobs were being cut, Google said organizing was “a matter between them

and their employer, Accenture,” also that it does not control the terms and conditions of their employment.

According to Bloomberg, on the day the complaint was filed, Google said it still stands by the

aforementioned statement and reiterated that any changes in employment contracts were due to savings and efficiency.

Early on in the year, on Jan. 20, Google is reported to have laid off 12,000 employees.

However, Google was among a slew of other tech and crypto companies to lay

off large numbers of employees around this time.

In April, Google announced some restructuring in its AI research and development unit Deepmind.

Google has also been the subject of legal action, which involved a class-action lawsuit

filed against the company on July 12 over its newly introduced AI data scraping privacy policy.