Posted by Sarah, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Feb 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm
The city has put so much of our tax money into this place already, we should make sure the city council doesn't approve development without a commitment from Google to let workers unionize. I mean, c'mon - Google can afford to pay service employees $11 an hour at a 4 star hotel
Posted by Rooting for Google, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2008 at 12:33 am
Unions have outlived their useful original purpose. They are now little more than extortionist groups. Unions are one of the main reasons for the outsourcing of jobs and the inability of American industries to compete with those of other countries.
Posted by John, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2008 at 10:14 am
If workers should decide to organize together, they can. Google has neither decided to thwart nor help the organization, which is what I understand "neutrality" to mean. What's the issue?
It appears to me that what the conflict is really about is over Google 'helping' the organization of the union by falling into contract with them and eliminating non-union work. Google has chosen 'neutrailty' - which means neither acting in support nor against the union. Neutrality does not mean Google has to help, or even discuss anything with, union leaders.
I fully support workers organizing. I think it's a smart move to make for the workers. However, I don't see where Google sits at fault in any of this. Everyone here, the union leaders included, are merely acting of their own accord and interest.
Posted by Steven, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm
John, you're wrong. A neutrality agreement is exactly what the union is seeking. If Google agreed to "neutrality," there'd be no problem. The problem is that they're using typical corporate delay tactics and acting in bad faith. If Google is really going to stay neutral, why are they refusing to put it in writing? Google would not have to eliminate non-union work or fall into contract with them, they'd only have to let workers choose a union. When workers choose representation, there's always a contract. Sometimes a first contract is through arbitration, sometimes it's through adversarial negotiation.
Posted by pro-union resident!, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm
Outsourcing of jobs is because of slave labor and sweatshops in those countries, not because of unions! Outsourcing happened long after the labor movement became weak and conciliatory, and is the result of bad trade deals like NAFTA. If you want to stop outsourcing, vote for Obama, because he'll make sure trade deals don't screw over American workers and corporations that outsource don't get rewarded with tax breaks.
It blows my mind that unions can be called extortionist groups! If you are poor and willing to work for anything, isn't it the employer that's extorting you!?!? Unions help people stand up for their rights, they won us the 8 hour work day, worker's compensation, health and safety regulations etc.
Posted by Robert, a resident of another community, on Feb 18, 2008 at 1:05 am
I know what it is like to be stonewalled by a big company like Google about respecting the right to organize .I was part of a community delegation that approached a different company, Electronic Arts. We were asking them to sign a code of conduct, promising to obey the laws about neutrality towards unions. We were totally stonewalled. Management would not meet with us and they did not respond to my follow-up phone call either.
I really agree with the comments of the pro-union resident above. If you study the history of unions in our country you will see that without unions workers were practically slaves just like the workers in foreign sweatshops. As for NAFTA, the negative effects on workers and the environment were predicted at the time it was passed. Worker groups and environmentalists gave well-documented, eloquent warnings to politicians before the vote--- but they were ignored.