Carers at Google Youngsters’s Facilities demand transportation assist | Labour Rights Information

Early childhood educators and carers who work at Google Children’s Centers say their comparatively low salary makes it impossible to live near Google’s campus, and the company’s refusal to help with their transportation costs reflects an undervaluation of their workforce .

Google’s employees, who provide childcare and education for the employees’ children, say the internet giant is calling them back to the office without restoring the shuttle service they rely on, and they hand out a petition calling out Alphabet Inc. Ask unit to provide a transportation grant to cover commuting costs.

“It is unacceptable to shift these costs to important workers who earn far less than the Googlers whose children they look after,” says the petition that members of the Alphabet Workers Union prepared and circulated on Friday. “Google can be an exceptional problem solver, but it chooses not to solve this problem for its childcare workers.”

The petition, which received signatures from around 200 Alphabet employees in the first few hours, stated that employees at Google Children’s Centers had tried unsuccessfully to address the problem with managers: “The company’s response was, ‘Transportation is only an advantage, not an advantage. ‘”

A Google representative said Friday that the shuttle service will be available “as soon as it’s safe” but declined to give a schedule.

The company added that childcare staff were paid in full during the pandemic when the Google Center closed and, like other Google employees, received an additional $ 1,000 scholarship to work from home.

“We work hard to provide a positive, rewarding and fulfilling experience for all of our employees, including our Google educators in our children’s centers,” said Google spokeswoman Shannon Newberry in a separate statement. “We welcome feedback and will continue to work with anyone who has concerns.”

Early childhood educators and carers work at four Google Children’s Centers near the company’s offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. The children of the employees are looked after by infants up to 5 year olds.

During the pandemic, they offered children virtual activities such as yoga and reading books. In interviews, employees said their comparatively low wages make it impossible to live near Google’s campus and that their refusal to help with transportation reflects an undervaluation of their workforce.

“These are Googler babies, children, and we support them, and yet our work is not seen that way,” said Denise Belardes, a local AWU director who makes about $ 25 an hour as a Google child educator.

Staff said they had been trying to raise the transportation problem with managers for weeks and were asked to resolve it themselves through solutions such as carpooling. “We just feel so invisible,” said AWU member Katrina de la Fuente. “We’re like stepchildren.”

According to staff at the Google Children’s Center, some employees will have to return to the office as early as Monday to prepare the classrooms for the children to return later this month.

Although many tech companies have moved to make remote work more permanent, Google is inviting employees back to their offices later this year, arguing that in-person work drives innovation. The company has redesigned its locations to allow more space between people and to create functions for hybrid collaboration with a mix of employees in the office and at home.

Earlier this week, Google changed its rules to allow more people to work from home or from different offices. After this fall, the company announced that 60% of its employees will work on-site a few days a week, while 20% will be able to work completely remotely.

Alphabet’s chief executive officer Sundar Pichai said the company will continue to offer “reset” days in 2021 – additional paid vacation breaks that Google introduced during the pandemic.

The Alphabet Workers Union, a subsidiary of Communications Workers of America, was officially established in January. The group has stated that it does not seek formal recognition or collective bargaining with the company, but plans to address workplace issues through advocacy and protest.

A complaint by the National Labor Relations Board AWU, filed in February on behalf of a subcontractor to Google’s South Carolina data center, resulted in a settlement in which Google promised to comply with federal law by not keeping workers silent about their pay were brought.

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