Google and Accenture, which 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 acted against a law that prohibits retaliation against employees for organizing, the report says, citing 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 says that over 70% of the “proposed bargaining unit” were told they would lose their jobs, including 118 writers, graphic designers and launch coordinators responsible for creating content for Google both internally and externally.
Workers responsible for Google’s search engine optimization and artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot are employed via Accenture.
Anjail Muhammad, a writer with Accenture who was told her job would 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,” and 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.
In April, Google announced some restructuring in its AI research and development unit, DeepMind.