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Google employees petition management for equal abortion advantages


Bambi Okugawa is an information center technician in one in all Google’s data centers in a U.S. state with one in all the strictest abortion bans within the nation: Tennessee. The state will ban abortions as early as six weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest, on Aug. 25 resulting from a “trigger law.”

If needed, Okugawa, could get an out-of-state abortion and will even request a everlasting transfer to a special company office resulting from the health advantages she gets as a full-time Google worker. Nevertheless, her colleagues — lots of whom are contractors — do not get those self same options.

“A few of my TVC co-workers are scared,” Okugawa told CNBC, referring to a Google term that stands for temps, vendors and contractors. “Some told me they’ve been looking for sterilization options because they know there won’t be access to abortions within the state.”

Okugawa is one in all several hundred Google employees who’ve signed a petition sent to the corporate’s management this week asking that contractors get the identical advantages in obtaining abortion and health-care services after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The letter, which is written by members of the Alphabet Staff Union-CWA, is addressed to Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi, Bobby Dhanoa, who oversees Google’s “prolonged workforce,” and Google’s chief diversity officer, Melonie Parker.

“In an effort to align with Google’s core values (go/3-google-values), we demand that Alphabet acknowledges the impact this Supreme Court ruling has on all its employees and to instantly do the next: Protect all employees’ access to reproductive healthcare by setting a reproductive healthcare standard within the US Wages and Advantages Standards (go/alphabet-tvc-benefits-standards) including: Extending the identical travel-for-healthcare advantages offered to FTEs to TVCs,” the letter says.

Google declined to comment on the petition and CNBC’s interview with Okugawa.

In June, Google sent a companywide email concerning the historic Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, explaining how the corporate’s U.S. advantages plan and medical insurance cover out-of-state medical procedures that aren’t available where an worker lives and works. While other tech corporations began offering similar advantages for out-of-state abortions, Google went further by saying employees in affected states can apply for relocation without having to elucidate why.

Nevertheless, all of those advantages only apply to full-time employees. The corporate has 174,014 full-time employees as of July. It has greater than 100,000 contractors, known internally as “TVCs.”

“Their level of health-care advantages just isn’t as high as we’re provided as full-time employees,” Okugawa said of contractors. Okugawa knows because, up until six months ago, she was still a contractor before the corporate made her a full-time worker.

The worker petition can also be asking for no less than seven days of additional sick time because employees might want to travel for significant periods to acquire health services.

“Google might be one in all the most important household names so far as tech corporations go — if you search online you don’t say I’m going to go looking this you say ‘I’ll Google this,'” Okugawa said. “So, it’s only right we display a way of compassion, empathy and fairness with anyone contracting with the corporate who should get the identical protections and sustainability of life offered to regular employees.”

A Google spokesperson wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The Alphabet Staff Union-CWA has greater than 1,100 members in various locations across the corporate, but otherwise operates through a “minority union” model, meaning it doesn’t have bargaining rights with leadership.

The group hopes to earn wins because it did in Kansas City, Missouri, where employees working on a Google product unionized for the primary time under AWU in March. Meanwhile, in June, Google Maps contractors won a 90-day extension on a return-to-office timeline after threatening to go on strike.

The petition also asks for a rise to $150 per night in travel reimbursement. “$50 is NOT a viable reimbursement for a hotel stay in most states, and doesn’t address childcare or lost wages,” the petition states.

The document requests the corporate publish a TVC “transparency report,” detailing vendors’ compliance with the Google US Wages and Advantages Standards. 

And employees also asked the corporate to repair its search results for abortion services. Products like Google Maps have allegedly frequently led abortion seekers to pro-life religious centers. When users type the words “abortion clinic” into the Google Maps search bar, for instance, crisis pregnancy centers accounted for 1 / 4 of the highest 10 search results across all 50 U.S. states, in line with data Bloomberg collected.

Google said in July it’ll work to quickly delete location history for people going to abortion sites and other medical sites following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.  

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