Report: Google accused of illegally terminating contract staffers who worked on AI
Report: Google accused of illegally terminating contract staffers who worked on AI

Google and Accenture, who 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 Inc. acted against a law that prohibits retaliation against employees for organizing, the report says, citin 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 said over 70% of the “proposed bargaining unit” were told they would lose their jobs, this included 118 writers, graphic designers and launch coordinators responsible for creating content for Google both internally and externally.

Workers who are responsible for Google search engine optimization and artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot are employed via Accenture.

Anjail Muhammad, a writer with Accenture who was told her job will 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,” also that it does not control the terms and conditions of their employment. 

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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. 

Early on in the year, on Jan. 20, Google is reported to have laid off 12,000 employees. However, Google was among a slew of other tech and crypto companies to lay off large numbers of employees around this time.

In April, Google announced some restructuring in its AI research and development unit Deepmind. 

Google has also been the subject of legal action, which involved a class-action lawsuit filed against the company on July 12 over its newly introduced AI data scraping privacy policy.

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