Last month, more than 66 per cent of around 80 eligible Google contractors at HCL signed cards in favour of union representation by IndustriALL US affiliate United Steelworkers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has scheduled a representation election for 24 September, when the votes will be counted and results available immediately.
As the election approaches, HCL has responded to the workers’ intention to join a union by enlisting a controversial management consultant who played a role in defeating a union organizing campaign at Fuyao Glass in Ohio, in 2018.
The USW is condemning HCL for pressuring workers into mandatory meetings, aimed at defeating the campaign to unionize.
“We have vast experience after decades of negotiating fair contracts for many thousands of members who work for multinational corporations,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway, “but in its drive to avoid bargaining in good faith with its employees in America, HCL, like Fuyao, is resorting to the same tactics employers have used for 100 years.”
According to the USW, employees at HCL have been coerced into attending meetings where managers talk about how they prefer to resolve conflicts “within the family” and without a union to advocate on the workers’ behalf. Generally, the company’s behaviour evolves into bullying individuals or groups of workers if support for the union persists.
IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:
“We stand in solidarity with the workers wanting to join the union and call on HCL to not interfere with the fundamental right of freedom of association The vote for union representation at HCL is an important step for the workforce, as it would allow the USW to negotiate for a collective agreement and improved conditions, and it also shows a growing movement to organize.”
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