A group of cleaners employed by a contract cleaning company used by Google is threatening to strike over what they allege are poor working conditions at its London offices.
These workers are accusing the contractor of withholding bonus payments, refusing to provide contractual sick pay, and cutting the workforce, and are now threatening to strike.
Their concerns highlight the growing frustration caused by Google’s heavy reliance on contract workers, creating a two-tier workforce in which many are locked out of the company’s legendary perks and benefits.
The cleaners are publicly calling on Google to take action, but a spokesperson says compensation and benefits are all determined by the contractor firm.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Some of Google’s contract cleaners in London are threatening to go on strike over what they say are poor working conditions at the California tech giant’s UK offices.
The cleaners, who work for London-based contract cleaning firm Principle, allege that their employer has withheld bonus payments, refused to provide contractual sick pay, and drastically cut the workforce at Google’s offices — effectively doubling their workload, a move that they say resulted in at least four workers suffering from leg and back issues.
Their discontent highlights the growing tensions caused by Google’s two-tier workforce: While the $837 billion tech giant is legendary for its lavish perks and sky-high salaries, it also has legions of contract workers, who are not entitled to the same benefits, and which some workers say makes them feel like second-class citizens in Google’s workforce.
Reached for comment by Business Insider, Google said that as the workers are employed by another company, it is up to the contractor to determine their compensation and benefits — but the workers and their union feel differently.
A spokesperson for Principle declined to comment on the cleaners’ claims.
The frustration by Google’s London cleaners has already translated into real-world action: In early October, a group of around 20 of the cleaners and union supporters gathered around Google’s Kings Cross, London offices to protest what they argue is the unfair dismissal of two cleaners who had been pushing for better working conditions as union representatives of the Cleaners & Allied Independent Workers Union (CAIWU).
A month before Principle was due to sit down with CAIWU to discuss the issues raised by cleaners, the two reps were suspended from their jobs at Google’s offices, in what the union calls an “incredible coincidence.” One of the cleaners told Business Insider he was accused of being involved in the disappearance of a mobile phone in Google’s office; he denies this, and says he has not been shown any evidence. CAIWU said the second cleaner was accused of being involved in the disappearance of other unspecified items, but these charges were later dropped by Principle. Both cleaners have been suspended on full pay and are waiting to hear the outcome of an investigation by the cleaning firm. Google and Principle declined to comment on the matter.
At least 18 cleaners are now threatening to strike if Principle doesn’t address the …read more
Source:: Business Insider