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Contract Employees At Pittsburgh's Google Campus Will Take Union Vote Tuesday

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Google's Pittsburgh location in Bakery Square.

Contract employees at Google's Pittsburgh campus are voting on whether to unionize Tuesday. If successful, this will be the first union with the Pittsburgh Association of Tech Professionals, a new arm of the United Steelworkers.

Renata Nelson, a Google contractor in Pittsburgh, said the main priorities are to improve wages and benefit, and to cement job security.

"Our salaries are fairly low compared to industry average," Nelson said. "We've seen people being hired at lower and lower rates recently."

Google contractors in Pittsburgh are employed through international consulting company HCL Technologies. According to United Steelworkers, HCL employees work at Google's Bakery Square campus.

Last week, USW released a statement condemning HCL Technologies "for coercing employees into mandatory meetings aimed at defeating the workers' campaign to organize a union and bargain collectively."

Nelson said a quick Google search revealed the consultant who held the meetings self-identified as an "expert in union-proofing companies" on Twitter. The consultant's page has since been deleted.

In a statement, HCL Technologies disputed this claim.

"We respect our [employees'] legal right to decide whether or not they want to be represented by a union and are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and open office culture for all of our team members at HCL," the statement said.

Google contractors will cast ballots Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of East Liberty. Results are expected soon after the vote is over.