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These Google workers have voted to join the Teamsters union

August 22, 2015, 12:30 AM UTC
Google Brings Its Same Day Delivery Service To Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 5: A Google Shopping Express van is seen at Google headquarters on May 5, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. The same day delivery program, which started in San Francisco, is expanding to West Los Angeles and Manhattan and will offer free unlimited delivery for the first six months for new sign ups. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Photo by Kevork Djansezian — Getty Images

Warehouse and shipping workers for Google Shopping Express, the tech giant’s same day shopping delivery service, voted Friday to join a local chapter of the Teamsters union.

The 151 workers had sought to unionize because of what they described as poor working conditions, such as lack of ventilation, low wages, poor benefits, harassment to work faster and with damaged equipment, cracked floors, and failing electrical systems, according to an official Teamsters announcement. Another main complaint is that Adecco, the outside staffing agency employing the workers, makes them sign contracts that limit their employment to two years with the company.

“It’s surprising that workers who warehouse and ship for Google Express would be subjected to such Third World conditions,” Rome Aloise, international vice president and principal officer of Teamsters Local 853, said in a statement. The next step for the workers is to negotiate a contract with Adecco and Google Shopping Express.

The union vote did not include drivers.

Based in San Leandro, Calif., Teamsters Local 853 already represents some workers at major local tech companies including commuter shuttle drivers for Facebook, Apple, and Yahoo. This is the latest push by workers in Silicon Valley to get better employment terms from companies that shower their engineering teams and executives with high salaries and perks like unlimited paid vacation, but not low ranking workers.

With that said, Re/Code reported earlier this week, citing sources, that Google plans to shut down two of its delivery hubs in the Bay Area, though not the service as a whole. Google Shopping Express recently got a new chief, Brian Elliott, and a revamping of the service is likely underway. On Friday, Re/Code reported that Google had notified vendors of the closing of its hubs on June 30, before the workers announced their plans to unionize.

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