Google’s European workforce — including workers in Switzerland and the UK — will soon be covered by the first-ever European Business Council (EWC) agreement, giving workers the right to be informed and consulted on decisions affecting their interests.
The new agreement, signed this week, is crucial as the tech giant is laying off workers across Europe without timely reporting or onboarding employees.
This global downsizing program has partly contributed to the exponential increase in union membership, particularly in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland.the The three largest European sites for Google.
By agreement, the company’s first EWC was created. EWCs represent employees of a company based in Europe. Through these boards, companies must exchange information and consult with employee representatives. It enables workers’ representatives to be consulted on decisions that could affect working or working conditions at European level. EWCs are required by law for companies operating in two or more EU member states if they are by employees.
Agreements establishing job boards are negotiated by a Special Negotiating Body (SNB) composed of employee representatives from the various European factory countries. Google employee representatives at the Swiss National Bank were supported by Jonathan Hayward, consortium expert on EWCs. Hayward has helped BVG negotiate the company for more than three years, and Unite has been helping Google employees organize it.
The UK has one of the largest workforces in all of Europe. Exceptionally, Google employees at the Swiss National Bank were able to negotiate the inclusion of the United Kingdom and Switzerland, two European countries that are not part of the European Union.
“Big progress was made when we reached an agreement with Google’s management team to include UK and Swiss workers, as well as several other important improvements to the agreement.” Hayward from Unite.
Google employees will elect their representatives to the EWC in the next six months. The EWC will begin its work immediately after the elections.
“The National Trade Union Confederation will continue to support unions in organizing and enforcing collective agreements at the national level, but this agreement is a major step towards a workers’ voice at the European level,” he said. Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary, UNI Europa.
UNI Global The union has long supported the organization of technology workers – including Google workers – across borders in Europe and around the world. With this new beginning of the EWC, unions believe that “Google staff organization” is a search term that will gain popularity.
Unions representing Google Workers This is an important development in the technology sector, as companies of Google’s size, importance, and influence affect the world of work at large.
Unite is committed to keeping the Union at the forefront of the digital economy through its dedicated activists and officials in the digital and technology industries.
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