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article imageGoogle to raise pay to $15 per hour minimum for temporary workers

By Ken Hanly     Apr 3, 2019 in Business
Google announced today that it would require its temporary, vendor, and contract (TVC) workers in the United States to be paid a minimum of $15 per hour, comprehensive health care coverage and 12 weeks parental leave.
TVC staff lack benefits of regular Google employees.
Google relies on a large staff of temporary, vendor, and contract workers. Many of these employees are supplied by third parties and the positions lack the benefits of full time regular Google workers. There have been a number of protests by Google workers about their treatment and of other workers as shown on the appended video from last November.
The TVC staff is said to comprise about half Google's work force. Last year in an open letter to Sundar Pichai Google CEO a group of employees said: “Even when we’re doing the same work as full-time employees, these jobs routinely fail to provide living wages and often offer minimal benefits. This affects not only us, but also our families and communities.”
Workers' contracts shortened
The Guardian reports: "More than 900 Google workers have signed a letter objecting to the tech giant’s treatment of temporary contractors, in what organizers are calling a “historical coalition” between Google’s full-time employees (FTEs) and temps, vendors and contractors (TVCs)."
Out of the blue, Google simply shortened the contracts of 34 temporary workers on the team for Google Assistant, Alexa.
A spokesperson for Google noted that temporary workers were allowed to apply for full-time jobs and had received a minimum of four weeks' notice of the expiry of their contract. They could also receive another assignment from their staffing agency. The spokesperson said: “Temporary workers join our workforce when we need to ramp up quickly for projects. When particular projects mature, we work to transition temp and vendor roles to regular full-time employee roles.” The spokesperson declined to provide information about what, if any, transition assistance it was providing.
Details of the changes
Companies that provide temporary and vendor staff to Google must offer health care benefits, including mental health, pediatric, oral, and dental services plus a minimum of 8 days paid sick leave. The providers must also pay a minimum of $15 per hour. They must also offer $5,000 per y in tuition.
The wage requirements will come into effect the end of this year but the health care requirements come into effect only by 2022. The Tech Workers Coalition was critical of the time line saying in a tweet: “Changes announced today apply to no one working right now—but workers can’t wait years to pay rent, see doctors and care for their families.”
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