Google’s employee union, Alphabet Workers Union-CWA, sent a letter this week addressed to the company requesting that it provide equal access to out-of-state abortion coverage for all workers. CNBC reported that several hundred employees signed the petition.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, multiple companies, including Google, Amazon, and Meta, announced that they would cover the cost for employees to travel out of state for abortions. In June, Google sent a company-wide email about the court’s decision and offered travel coverage and relocation services for employees seeking to move to a state with unrestricted abortion laws.
The email read, “To support Googlers and their dependents, our US benefits plan and health insurance covers out-of-state medical procedures that are not available where an employee live and works. Googlers can also apply for relocation without justification, and those overseeing this process will be aware of the situation.”
However, Google offered these services to full-time employees, not TVCs – temps, vendors, and contractors. Over 35% of the company’s workforce are not considered full-time employees.
The union’s letter to the tech company stated, “In order to align with Google’s core values (go/3-google-values), we demand that Alphabet acknowledges the impact this Supreme Court ruling has on all its workers and to immediately do the following: Protect all workers’ access to reproductive healthcare by setting a reproductive healthcare standard in the US Wages and Benefits Standards (go/alphabet-tvc-benefits-standards) including: Extending the same travel-for-healthcare benefits offered to FTEs to TVCs.”
The petition also requested an additional seven days of sick leave to compensate for time spent traveling out of state.
CNBC interviewed full-time Google employee Bambi Okugawa, who works at the company’s Tennessee office. Okugawa expressed that she and some of her coworkers are concerned about the state’s restrictions on abortion. She stated, “Some told me they have been seeking sterilization options because they know there won’t be access to abortions in the state.”
Okugawa was one of the hundreds of employees to sign the union letter to Google. The data center technician said she was a contract worker with the company until six months ago. Now, as a full-time employee, Okugawa could apply for relocation, but she is concerned about her contracted coworkers. “Their level of health-care benefits is not as high as we’re provided as full-time employees,” she told the news outlet.
CNBC reported that Google declined to comment about the interview or the union’s letter.