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Google Express Workers Move to Unionize

A Teamsters Union local in California aims to organize workers at the same-day delivery service.


Earlier this year, the Teamsters Union began backing shuttle drivers who work at Apple, Yahoo, eBay and a host of other Silicon Valley companies. Now, the union is coming for Google.

More than 140 contract workers for Google Express, the search engine’s fledgling delivery service, have filed for organized representation, according to a statement from Teamsters Local Union 853 in California. Google does not directly employ the Express workers, but contracts with them through the HR firm Adecco. (Several Google Glass contractors came from there as well.)

“The reports we have received from workers at Google Express paint a bleak picture,” Rome Aloise, the union’s international VP, said in a statement. “It is surprising that Google, a company that prides itself on the treatment of its workforce, would allow this behavior to continue at Adecco.”

Google declined to comment.

Although organized labor has yet to break into Google, the company has ceded to rising demands about pay inequality in Silicon Valley. It boosted wages and benefits for its shuttle drivers in March, and it brought security guards onto company payrolls earlier in the fall.

In a radio interview earlier this month, Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of people operations, said Google will not crack down on organizing drives: “Folks have a legal right to organize without fear of retaliation. And that’s a critical and important thing and we respect that. I mean, there would not and will not be retaliation.”

Last fall, Google Express lost its lead executive, Tom Fallows, to Uber. Its biggest rival, Amazon, has had no problem shutting down organizing campaigns.

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