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USA: Google hires consulting firm known for anti-union efforts amid 'widespread' worker unrest

Author: Noam Scheiber & Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, Published on: 21 November 2019

"Google Hires Firm Known for Anti-Union Efforts", 20 November 2019

Google has hired an anti-union consulting firm to advise management as it deals with widespread worker unrest, including accusations that it has retaliated against organizers of a global walkout and cracked down on dissent inside the company.

The firm, IRI Consultants... website advertises “union vulnerability assessments” and boasts about IRI’s success in helping a large national health care company persuade employees to avoid a union election...

Google’s work with IRI is the latest... escalation in a feud between a group of activist workers... and management that has tested the limits of the company’s traditionally transparent, worker-friendly culture...

... [E]mployers sometimes bring in firms like IRI to pre-empt unionization amid widespread discontent among workers...

[A] Google spokeswoman, said the company engaged “dozens of outside firms to provide us with their advice on a wide range of topics.”...

Some Google employees oppose their colleagues’ organizing efforts... [but] many appear to favor creating some kind of worker organization, and thousands continue to engage in collective action, like signing a petition in August urging the company not to enter a forthcoming competition for a contract with the Customs and Border Protection agency...

Google said IRI did not participate in any... recent high-profile policy changes, but would not elaborate on the work it did...

Read the full post here

Related companies: Google (part of Alphabet)