New Google union slams YouTube for ‘lackluster’ response to Trump and Capitol mob
Workers stand outside the Google offices after walking out as part of a global protest over workplace issues, in London, Britain, November 1, 2018.
Toby Melville | Reuters
Alphabet employees’ newly formed union made its first stance Thursday, calling on YouTube executives to take stronger action against President Donald Trump.
The union, which was only announced Monday, criticized Google-owned YouTube for not banning Trump’s account from the platform after Wednesday’s pro-Trump riots in Washington D.C., which resulted in several deaths and scores of injuries. The group called the company’s decision to reactively remove his videos as “lackluster” and said the company should ban his account.
“We warned our executives about this danger, only to be ignored or given token concessions, and the results have been suicides, mass murders, violence around the world, and now an attempted coup at the Capitol of the United States,” the letter reads. “YouTube refuses to hold Donald Trump accountable to the platform’s own rules,” it continued.
On Wednesday, YouTube removed a video of Trump reciting false widespread voter fraud claims during Wednesday’s riots. Citing the Capitol building riots, the company announced on Thursday that it is going to suspend any channels posting new videos of false widespread voter fraud claims, rather than giving them a warning first. It’s a smaller action compared to both Twitter and Facebook, which announced suspensions of Trump’s account.
The union, which was announced on Monday, is the first one at a major U.S. tech company, but it’s structured as a minority union and claimed only about 400 members as of Tuesday. A minority union need not include a majority of employees, but is not recognized by the National Labor Relations Board and does not have exclusive bargaining power with the company. Organizers said they hoped to use the union as a megaphone to draw concentrated attention to certain issues at the company.
The union’s letter stated the company has been “prioritizing advertisers while exposing the public.”
“AWU stands in solidarity with all workers fighting for justice and liberation in the workplace and the world,” it continued. “We must begin with our own company.”
The statement said workers are “ready” to meet with Alphabet executives “to fight against the problems within our company that have contributed to where we are today.”
YouTube didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment on the letter.
Watch: Here’s what Google employees hope to gain from forming a union