Google employees in Poland have formed a union for the first time, marking a significant development for labour rights within the tech giant’s European operations. The union, affiliated to “OPZZ Konfederacja Pracy“, aims to serve as a platform for employees’ voices, particularly regarding any changes affecting their working conditions.
“I believe organizing and working together gives us a better chance to improve our workplace and more influence on decisions that affect our working conditions,” said Paweł Stradomski,the union’s president.
This move comes as a response to layoffs at Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, earlier this year, which served as a “turning point” for the employees, according to internal sources.
In its initial steps, the union has successfully negotiated significant internal regulations, aligning its actions with recently introduced Polish labour law requirements. Now the union is focusing on employee outreach to grow its membership and compile key concerns among the workforce.
“While collective bargaining is not our immediate goal, we aim to grow our numbers through wider outreach. Our primary focus is on collecting and prioritizing our members’ concerns to better engage with management,” a spokesperson for the union explained.
The formation of a union in Poland adds even more strength to Google employees’ demands to have more transparency and a seat at the table. The tech giant has previously faced challenges and scrutiny over its labour practices both in the United States and abroad.