Earlier this month members of the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA Local 1400 (AWU-CWA) called on Google to stop requiring transgender workers to use their deadnames on company badges. Last week they won an important battle for equality in their workplace.
A deadname is the name a transgender person was given before transitioning. For some transgender people, changing their names is an important part of their transition. Calling someone by their deadname can make them feel disrespected and may lead to misgendering and harassment.
AWU member Phares Lee tried for three years to have his deadname removed from his badge and was told by HR there was no remedy. On June 1, the union launched a petition demanding that Google create a chosen names policy that allows all workers to choose the names displayed on their badges.
More than 1,000 employees signed on and the company has agreed to issue Phares a new badge with his chosen name. "I learned that we are stronger together than we are alone," said Phares. "I learned that we can build our own sense of belonging. I learned that we can build our own union and take care of each other when others won’t."