The United Steelworkers Union (USW) said Friday it has reached a tentative contract deal with a sub-contractor for Google Pittsburgh. The announcement comes almost two years after employees of engineering and IT contractor HCL Technologies voted to unionize, saying that even though they worked alongside Google employees, they didn’t receive the same benefits.
Amanda Parks, a member of the USW bargaining committee who works at HCL, said in a statement that the proposed three-year contract includes “meaningful wage increases” and addresses pay parity concerns. It includes language that offers job security and additional time off, according to the statement. “We work hard, and we deserve what all workers deserve, an agreement that reflects our important contributions to the company’s success,” Parks said.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against HCL in October, claiming that the company was outsourcing the Pittsburgh workers’ jobs in retaliation for union activity. According to the complaint, HCL failed to bargain with the Pittsburgh workers and transferred their work to offshore workers in Poland.
Google’s contractor workforce has grown significantly over the past several years, to the point it’s nearly as large as its full-time workforce,
The tentative contract covers about 65 employees based in Pittsburgh and is scheduled for a ratification vote on July 30th. The contract would take effect immediately if it is ratified, the union said.
A spokesperson for HCL confirmed the tentative agreement in an email to The Verge on Friday. “Throughout this process, HCL has been actively engaged in meaningful and fair discussions with the USW in good faith,” the spokesperson said. “We have been steadfast in our commitment to respect our employees’ right to pursue unionization should they choose to do so.”
Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Friday.
Update July 23rd 3:31PM ET: Adds statement from HCL