Google Japan Workers Form Labor Union for 1st Time Amid Layoff Fears

Reuters file photo
The Google LLC logo is seen at the Google office in Chelsea, New York, in January.

Employees of Google LLC’s Japan arm have formed a labor union for the first time amid fears over massive job cuts.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Google Japan G.K. workers explained that several dozen employees formed the Google Japan Union on Feb. 22.

In January, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., announced its intention to cut 12,000 jobs — equivalent to about 6% of its total workforce.

The union has requested collective bargaining with Google Japan, demanding an explanation for the layoffs and other issues.

Also Thursday, a number of employees received an email from the company recommending early retirement, saying they would receive enhanced benefits if they agreed to resign within two weeks, according to the union.

“The company is making a lot of profit, but reducing its workforce,” a Google employee said during the press conference. “The firm hasn’t disclosed the need for the layoffs, nor the criteria used to select those who’ll be pink-slipped. We’re all feeling worried.”