Last Friday, over a 100 workers at Modis, a Google subcontractor, won the hazard pay they were promised after organizing a series of collective actions. When Modis, which helps Google manage their data centers, broke its promise to pay attendance incentive bonuses to 250 workers at multiple data centers, the workers began organizing to hold the company accountable. These bonuses were meant to incentivize workers to return to work in the midst of the COVID pandemic.
The workers, some of whom are members of the Alphabet Workers Union (CWA Local 1400), participated in workplace actions to draw attention to this issue and put pressure on management by asking difficult questions during an impromptu meeting hosted by the company. Although this was a win for the workers, who make as low as $15 an hour for highly skilled and physically difficult work, they cite Google’s two tiered employment system as the main cause of the problem and they are determined to continue organizing to put an end to this exploitative system.