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Labor board says Google contractor retaliated against Pittsburgh union

The Nationwide Labor Relations Board issued a criticism this week in opposition to HCL America that accuses the Google contractor of violating its workers’ labor rights via a bevy of union-busting techniques. The criticism alleges that the corporate, a subsidiary of the India-based contracting titan HCL Applied sciences, illegally pressured its Pittsburgh workforce to not unionize and retaliated in opposition to their efforts by partially shifting their jobs abroad.

Final fall, a bunch of roughly 80 Google contractors turned among the many first within the firm’s historical past to unionize after voting to develop into affiliated with North America’s largest industrial union, United Steelworkers. Following the vote, the labor board alleges that HCL started siphoning off the workforce’s tasks, which included information evaluation and machine studying coaching beneath a contract with Google, to its workers in Poland.

“Most egregiously, HCL has been eroding its Pittsburgh workforce by openly transferring work carried out right here to its facility in Krakow, Poland, to retaliate in opposition to employees for exercising their proper to decide on union illustration,” Joshua Borden, who serves on the union’s negotiating committee, mentioned in a press release. “Administration would moderately break the legislation than negotiate in good religion for a good contract.”

HCL and Google didn’t instantly reply to Gizmodo’s request for remark. The criticism claims that HCL higher-ups violated federal labor legal guidelines by threatening to withhold wages and promotions if contractors at Google’s Bakery Sq. headquarters continued to push for unionization. Administration additionally promised to come back down on rule violations extra strictly if a union was fashioned, based on the labor board.

The corporate allegedly started limiting job coaching alternatives and instituting periodic “fast test” quizzes for employees in retaliation, per the New York Times. Within the 12 months for the reason that vote, employees say greater than a dozen positions that belonged to the preliminary bargaining unit have been eradicated.

“Sending work in another country throughout a pandemic was particularly sort of an unconscionable motion,” Borden mentioned within the Occasions’ report. “They have been attempting to take jobs away from us in retaliation for organizing to have a good office.”

Whereas the criticism doesn’t instantly accuse Google within the matter, the tech big has come beneath fireplace lately for its covert partnerships with union-busting companies and seemingly retaliatory firings of workers concerned in union campaigns. Different Silicon Valley huge wigs equivalent to Microsoft and Amazon have aggressively pushed in opposition to labor group efforts as properly, making HCL’s profitable effort final fall much more historic.  

The NLRB at present has a listening to scheduled earlier than an administrative legislation decide in February. If the decide guidelines in favor of the labor board, HCL will doubtless be compelled to undo any modifications it made with out the union’s enter and cut price with union reps over re-implementing them.

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Alyse Stanley