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US Regulator Accuses Google Of Violating US Labour Laws In Crackdown On Worker Organising

US Regulator Accuses Google Of Violating US Labour Laws In Crackdown On Worker Organising
Alphabet Inc's Google has been accused by the National Labor Relations Board of the United States of unlawfully monitoring and questioning several workers and then they were fired by the company for raising their voice against the policies of the company and trying to create a workers’ union at the company. A complaint to this effect was issued by the Board on Wednesday.
Employees were place on administrative leave in an illegal manner by Google and then the services of the employees were terminated for accessing documents related to how the company polices internal forums, said the complaint by the US labour regulator according to the complaint filed by it. The policies of Google on accessing documents and meetings rooms as well as the tactics used by the company for investigating employees were all found to be unlawful by the agency, since all of the efforts of the company are designed to deter workplace organising, according to the complaint.
It was confident it acted legally, Google said.
"Google has always worked to support a culture of internal discussion, and we place immense trust in our employees," it said. "Actions undertaken by the employees at issue were a serious violation of our policies and an unacceptable breach of a trusted responsibility."
The termination of the jobs of the employees was made after two years of tussle between Google and its workforce – specifically those in the United States. Also under the scanner is the question of how much input the rank and file of the company has on deciding on the projects that the company takes on and which ones it does not as well as how the company handles sexual misconduct and other issue and complaints cropping up at the workplace.
After leading efforts to try and gather their colleagues and partnering with the Communications Workers of America union to petition the NLRB to challenge Google, the company terminated the appointment of at least five people.
Wednesday's complaint by the US labour body was described to be significant "at a time when we're seeing the power of a handful of tech billionaires consolidate control over our lives and our society", according to one of the fired workers as quoted in the media.
Several other allegations sought by the workers were not included in the complaint filed by the NLRB. The workers said they would appeal.
NLRB has given a time period till December 16 to Google to officially respond to the complaint. An administrative law judge on April 12 next year will hear the case whose outcome could result in reinstatement of the fired workers as well as bringing in changes in policies of the company.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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