Employees of Google Fiber retail store in Kansas City petition to start a union

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A group of Google Fiber employees in Kansas City has petitioned to start a union.

If the group unionized, employees will receive collective bargaining rights with Alphabet Inc., which controls Google and all of its related companies.

The petition was filed Jan. 4 with the National Labor Relations Board after a majority of the 11 eligible workers at the retailer voted to unionize.

Mike Knox, 30, who has worked for Google Fiber in Kansas City for over three years, said the union will allow staff to be more present in conversations on company policy and the way it’s carried out.

He’s seen the pandemic push the relationship between management and employees further apart, especially in his own work environment.

A lack of input over work conditions and compensation issues convinced him to support the union effort, he said.

He also remembers watching Alphabet Inc. employees form the Alphabet Workers Union in early 2021, which made him feel it was possible to have his voice heard.

But that’s notoriously difficult to pull off in the tech industry, he said.

“When you’re going up against tech giants, everybody’s got to work together, and we have to come up with creative ways to make sure we’re heard.”

Knox and his colleagues hope their petition can inspire others in the industry to form a union.

The National Labor Relations Board will release a ruling on the petition, which Alphabet Inc. can attempt to appeal.

Representatives from Alphabet Inc., and the other companies named in the petition, did not respond to a request for comment.