Wed. August 31, 2022 – With Labor Day just around the corner, nearly 30 culinary workers at the Google office cafeteria in midtown Atlanta walked in on management, petitioning for higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation.
While Google is known to be an employer that offers comprehensive perks and benefits, this is not the case for the thousands of Google cafeteria and service workers contracted through a third party. Over the course of the pandemic, over 4,000 Google cafeteria workers across 23 workplaces nationwide have voted to unionize, securing not only higher wages, but retirement benefits, improved health plans, and more.
Currently, 90% of Google food service workers are unionized under the companies Compass and Guckenheimer. Atlanta workers, however, are contracted with another company, Sodexo, earning lower average wages (starting at $15/hour compared with $25) and worse benefits than unionized Google cafeteria workers in other cities.
The Atlanta cafeteria workers—including cooks as well as baristas—intend to file for a union with Unite Here local 23, which covers 25,000 hotel, food service, and airport workers across the South and Southwest. Nationally, Unite Here has already unionized multiple Google cafeterias across the country. As of Friday, Sodexo has responded to workers’ demands by stating that they will not obstruct the unionization process if workers vote to form one.
To raise awareness for their demands, workers took to the streets last Thursday, joined by Unite Here and Atlanta DSA, to hand out flyers outside the Google office. Stay tuned for more updates on their campaign by following Unite Here 23 and Atlanta DSA on social media, or subscribing to Atlanta DSA’s weekly newsletter.