As part of the ongoing investigation potentially illegal retaliation against workers involved in labor activism, Google must hand over a multitude of documents related to a covert anti-union campaign he ran back in 2019, a judge of the National Labor Audit Committee ordered.
The technology giant was in legal trouble from December 2020, when the NLRB accused Google of illegal surveillance and retaliation against two workers involved in the organization of work, which is considered a “protected activity” under the 1935 National Labor Law. NLRB appeal subsequently expanded include three more former employees, although Google has since reached a settlement with one of them.
Per Motherboard, the company has now been ordered to disclose to the NLRB 70 documents related to what was eerily called the “Vivian Project”, an internal operation that was to push messages against unions within the company. Specifically, the documents relate to a strategy devised by Google in coordination with IRI Consultants, a “labor relations” firm hired by Google to assist it in its efforts to reduce the organization within its ranks.
Google has previously tried to withhold documents from the inspection, claiming they constitute “legally privileged communication.” A more detailed examination by a court official recently showed that only 9 out of 80 documents can be correctly classified as privileged.
The documents, which are not open to the public but will now be handed over to the NLRB, reportedly contain “campaign materials prepared for distribution to employees, staff training materials on how to campaign against unionization among those they manage, anti-union messaging tips and message reinforcement for [Google], and updates on how the campaign is viewed among employees and / or in various reports, ”the agency reports.
Motherboard also previously published about how firms like IRI Consultants are known for creating comprehensive employee files as part of their contract work — such as involving an eerie amount of detail, such as personality and emotion analysis.
Google is, of course, in good (or, more accurately, bad) company when it comes to its anti-union efforts. Corporations like Amazon i Tesla they are known to use similar aggressive tactics.
We have contacted Google to comment on this story and will update it if the company responds.
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