The brand new Google union has criticized YouTube for “lackluster” response to Trump
Workers stand outside the Google offices after leaving the office as part of a global protest against workplace problems on November 1, 2018 in London, UK.
Toby Melville | Reuters
Alphabet’s newly formed union made its first appearance on Thursday, calling on YouTube executives to step up against President Donald Trump.
The union, which was only announced on Monday, criticized Google’s YouTube for failing to ban Trump’s account from the platform following the pro-Trump riots in Washington DC on Wednesday, resulting in multiple deaths and numerous injuries. The group described the company’s decision to reactively remove its videos as “lackluster” and said the company should suspend its account.
“We have warned our leaders of this danger, only to be ignored or to make concessions. The result has been suicides, mass murders, violence around the world and now an attempted coup in the United States Capitol,” the letter said. “YouTube is refusing to hold Donald Trump accountable for the platform’s own rules,” he continued.
On Wednesday, YouTube removed a video of Trump reciting false, widespread claims of election fraud during Wednesday’s riots. Citing the riots in the Capitol, the company announced Thursday that it would stop any channels posting new videos containing false, widespread claims of election fraud, rather than warning them first. It’s a minor move compared to Twitter and Facebook, which announced the suspension of Trump’s account.
The union, announced on Monday, is the first in a major US technology company. However, it is structured as a minority union and has 619 members as of Friday. A minority union does not have to comprise a majority of the workforce, but is not recognized by the National Labor Relations Board and does not have exclusive bargaining power with the company. The organizers hoped to use the union as a megaphone to draw attention to certain issues in the company.
The union’s letter said the company had “given advertisers priority while promoting the public”.
“The AWU stands in solidarity with all workers who fight for justice and liberation in the workplace and in the world,” she continued. “We have to start with our own company.”
The statement said employees were “ready” to meet with Alphabet executives “to fight the problems in our company that have made us where we are today.”
YouTube did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comments on the letter.
Watch: This is what Google employees hope from forming a union