Google contract workers in Pittsburgh are unionizing, according to a statement released by the Pittsburgh Association of Tech Professionals (PATP) on Thursday.
More than 66% of employees with HCL, a tech contractor at Google’s Pittsburgh offices, signed their support for union representation that could bring the often-neglected sector of Google’s contract workforce fairer wages and more benefits.
Google’s temporary workers outnumber its force of full-time employees, according to a New York Times report, and the tech giant relies heavily upon them. But members of what is known as the “shadow workforce” hasn’t always received the same pay and benefits as full-time workers.
“HCL’s 90 employees work side-by-side with those of the giant corporation for far less compensation and few, if any, of the perks,” the union said in the statement released Thursday.
As Business Insider’s Nick Bastone previously reported, some temp workers are even barred from all-hands meetings and certain internal resources that could improve their job performance. They’re also required to wear red badges, which the company says is for security purposes, leading to a “sense of shame,” as one employee described it to Business Insider.
Protests among Google contract workers in April led to the company granting them better pay and more benefits, like parental leave and better healthcare.
As The Verge reports, it’s uncommon for tech contractors to unionize, and if it proves to be successful, could have a ripple effect.