Dividends and Google union marks a landmark moment

Now that President Biden is in power, in theory it will be easier for people to be in a union. Under the pro business of President Trump, the government did not help and likely discouraged the activities. Whether you belong to a union or not, does not mean wages automatically go up. In political ads there are references to hard working people and often they are employed at higher wages in a union. However there are plenty of unions which are at the low wage scale, just above minimum. The issue is working conditions, if the pay is good.

In an article by Kate Conger of the New York Times News Service, more than 225 Google engineers and other workers have formed a union. The union met in secret for a year and is now coming forth. The issues will be pay, harassment and ethics. In many people’s mind the engineers that work for the tech companies work long hours, are well paid and have access to buying stock which if the company is successful allows for many to have million dollar homes. It is true some do, but in a very large company such as Alphabet or Google some do not.

In the world of tech there are contractors and they are paid less than full timers, so it often depends.

In the past, tech companies have resisted unions because they did not want them. As the industry continues to mature, maybe more companies will be unionized?

The new union at Google called the Alphabet Workers Union only represents a fraction of the 260,00 full time employees and contractors at Google. Part of their goal is to sustain pressure on management so that workers could force changes on workplace issues. The new union is called a minority union because they are allow to organize and then try to win a vote with the National Labor Relations Board, typically unions try to organize the majority and if they win the majority of votes they can bargain with management. The degree of success will depend on whether management wishes to work or work against the union.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, the focus on investing is the final result, did the company make a profit and can it pay a dividend. The longer you hold the shares, the more likely you are to examine the internal workings of the company. If you believe the company is relatively a good ethical company, there is little reason to examine the internal workings. One hopes and expects a good company wishes to keep its workforce and treats them in that manner, but it is an internal concern.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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