Google Express, Google’s delivery service, provides delivery services for merchants such as Target, Costco, and Whole Foods. Google Express employees do not work directly for Google but instead work for Adecco, which is a temporary agency with which Google subcontracts. Recently, 151 warehouse and shipping workers for Google Express voted to join the Teamsters, which has unionized employees for other tech companies including E-Bay, Apple, and Yahoo.
The Adecco employees have complained that their outside staffing agency, Adecco, makes them sign contracts that limit their employment to two years. Teamsters sought to organize these workers with the goal of raising hourly wages above the average of $14 to $15 per hour in addition to “improving working conditions” and “treatment on the job.” The Teamsters have alleged that these employees worked in a workplace with “constant harassment to work faster in poor conditions that includes damaged equipment, cracked floors, and failing electrical systems that have resulted in fires.” Despite these allegations, an Adecco spokesperson has reported that the Company has not received any complaints about these alleged conditions.
While wages played a role in the employees’ decision to unionize, their decision was primarily motivated by other factors such as working conditions and being treated with respect. This is not unusual. Union campaigns often excel where employees feel disrespected and unappreciated. A company that is aware of such complaints should address these concerns timely rather than risking their employees seeking the outside help of a union.