Google vendors, temps and contract workers demand higher pay, more respect

In a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai, Google's vendors, temporary workers and contractors, who constitute a large percentage of the company's workforce, are demanding higher pay, more respect and access to the same information given to full-time staffers.

"Google has been taking in record profits every quarter, with $9.2 billion in the last quarter alone. This money comes from the hard work of every single one of us, TVC and full-time alike," the letter to Pichai says, referencing an abbreviation for temporary workers, vendors and contractors. "We do essential work, from marketing to running engineering teams, to feeding you and the rest of the Google staff — all without fair benefits or recognition. Google cannot function without us."

The letter comes on the heels of a walkout by 17,000 workers demanding equal pay and a revamp of the company's sexual harassment policies, among other changes.

The workers are asking for the same health care, vacation time, sick days, family leave and holiday pay that is standard for full-time Google employees.


The TVCs are also demanding that contractors and temps gain access to Google town halls, all company communications about safety, discrimination and sexual misconduct, along with any career growth, classes or counseling services offered to regular full-time employees.

"The exclusion of TVCs from important communications and fair treatment is part of a system of institutional racism, sexism and discrimination," the letter says. "TVCs are disproportionately people from marginalized groups who are treated as less deserving of compensation, opportunities, workplace protections, and respect."

The letter to Pichai comes just days before the chief executive's scheduled testimony on Dec. 11 before the House Judiciary Committee, where lawmakers will be questioning him about privacy, data collection and allegations of anti-conservative bias, among other topics.

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment directly on the letter, but a source familiar with the company's policies said the tech behemoth typically uses temps and contract workers for areas where the company does not have certain expertise or does not want to build it. The source also noted that, since TVCs are technically employed by outside companies, they are not allowed to learn about confidential information in the same way as full-time Google employees.