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Contract workers at Google demand higher wages, benefits in letter to CEO

December 05, 2018

Google contract workers demanded equal treatment and better compensation in a letter sent today to CEO Sundar Pichai. Temporary, vendor and contract workers, or TVCs, comprise a majority of the company’s workforce, according to the letter.

Google last month announced plans to overhaul its sexual harassment policies, but concerns arose that TVCs may not benefit from the announced changes. Today’s letter asks that TVCs be included in those changes and requested access to companywide emails and town hall staff meetings, better healthcare and benefits, and a more transparent process for applying for full-time jobs.

“Google routinely denies TVCs access to information that is relevant to our jobs and our lives,” according to the letter. “When the tragic shooting occurred at YouTube in April of this year, the company sent real-time security updates to full-time employees only, leaving TVCs defenseless in the line of fire. TVCs were then excluded from a town hall discussion the following day.”

It continued: “And when 20,000 full-time and TVC Google employees walked out to demand equal treatment for all workers, TVCs were again excluded from the company-wide discussion held a week later.”

The letter reiterated the following demands:

  • Pay and opportunity equity for TVCs. Demands include better pay and access to benefits that meet the full-time employee standard, including high-quality healthcare, paid vacations, paid sick days, holiday pay, family leave and bonuses. This must also include a consistent and transparent conversion process to full-time employment, as well as adoption of a single badge color for all workers.
  • Access to companywide information on the same terms as full-time employees. TVCs want access to town hall discussions; all communications about safety, discrimination and sexual misconduct; and a reinstatement of access to internal forums like Google Groups. This must also include career growth, classes and counseling opportunities like those offered to full-time workers.

“The excessive and unclear rules surrounding TVCs, in addition to the constant fear of our contracts not being renewed, makes it difficult for us to speak out,” the letter stated. “However, it is clear that we will continue to be mistreated and ignored if we stay silent. Google has the power — and the money — to ensure that we are treated equitably, with respect and dignity.”

The full letter is signed “TVCs at Google” and is available on the Medium website.

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