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Google Express Workers Vote 'Yes' to Union, as Warehouses Plan to Shut Down

Google claims its plans to shut the delivery hubs are unrelated to the union drive.

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

On Friday afternoon, 151 warehouse and shipping workers for Google Express, the search engine’s delivery service, voted in favor of joining a union. Last month, workers at the Palo Alto, Calif., facility agreed to join Teamsters Local 853, which has unionized shuttle drivers for eBay, Apple, Yahoo and other companies.

“It’s surprising that workers who warehouse and ship for Google Express would be subjected to such Third World conditions,” Rome Aloise, international vice president for the union, said in a statement.

The employees don’t work directly for Google but for Adecco, a temp agency with which Google subcontracts.

On Wednesday, Re/code reported that Google is planning to shut the two delivery hubs for Express, in San Francisco and Palo Alto, but will keep the service operational. The move is part of a strategy to revamp Express, which has struggled to gain a foothold in the market.

A Google spokeswoman said that the company’s strategy decision was not influenced by the unionization drive. Google notified vendors that its San Francisco delivery hub would be closing on June 30, before the Adecco workers announced their pending Teamsters vote.

An Adecco spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Update: An Adecco spokesperson was reached. Here’s their statement: “We believe that our associates are better off directly dealing with us as their employer rather than involving a union, however, we are supportive of any direction freely chosen by our associates. Over the coming days, we’ll be reviewing the results to determine that all steps and processes were followed to ensure the election campaign was held in a lawful manner.”

We asked the rep if the unionization push alters the plans in place to close to the delivery hub. The rep did not respond. Google deferred further questions about the union vote to Adecco.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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