Members of Google's union reportedly weren't told about an alliance with the Global Alpha coalition before the news went public

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Members of Google's union reportedly weren't told about an alliance with the Global Alpha coalition before the news went public
Google has about 132,121 worldwide employees.TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
  • The Alphabet Workers Union is reportedly "in turmoil" after an announcement of a global alliance.
  • AWU members told The Verge they were surprised to learn about Alpha Global, a coalition of unions.
  • Members are reportedly considering breaking from the Communications Workers of America, a US affiliate.

A Google employee union covering staff the US and Canada is reportedly in "turmoil" after a global alliance was announced without notifying members.

Some members said they didn't know their Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) had joined a newly formed Alpha Global coalition with workers around the world until it was announced on January 25, according to The Verge.

The Verge also reported that a press statement for Alpha Global also included a quote from Parul Koul, a software engineer and executive AWU council member. Meeting notes apparently show that she'd never said the quote in question.

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AWU and Koul did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Earlier this year, more than 200 employees at Google's parent company, Alphabet, formed the union. They don't have collective bargaining rights, because AWU wasn't formed by an election under the National Labor Relations Board.

In recent weeks, the union has issued press releases on company policy, including a statement on YouTube's "lackluster" response to the "spread of hatred and extremism" prior to the Capitol siege on January 6.

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Read more: Inside the spiralling culture of mistrust between Google and its employees, and how the first big tech union plans to keep Alphabet management in check

The union has added about 600 new members since it was formed. Google has about 132,121 worldwide employees, according to its most recent quarterly report.

The January 25 announcement said AWU was becoming a member of Alpha Global, an alliance that included unions from the US, UK, and Germany.

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In a release posted by Uni Global Union, of Switzerland, the new alliance said: "A just Alphabet has wide-ranging implications for our democracies and societies. That is why we are joining together to demand fundamental human rights for all workers in Alphabet operations, including the right to form or join a union and the right to bargain collectively."

According to The Verge, union members called an emergency meeting after the announcement.

Notes from that meeting include a statement from Koul, who said the Uni announcement was a surprise, and that AWU members weren't "notified or given a heads up that this alliance was being formed or that this statement was going out," according to The Verge.

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Now, some AWU members are reportedly pushing for the union to break ties with the Communications Workers of America, a union that it's affiliated with the US. A member of that union was reportedly involved in issuing the Alpha Global announcement.

The union has reportedly created a committee to investigate how the announcement came to be, and why members weren't told.

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