Posted in Legal Troubles

Vice: Google had a secret project to ‘convince’ employees ‘that unions suck’

Don’t be union! That has been Google’s message to its employees for some time now:

A National Labor Relations Board ruling sheds light on a highly secret anti-union campaign at Google, that a top executive explicitly described as an initiative to “convince [employees] that unions suck.” 

The campaign was called Project Vivian, and ran at Google between late 2018 and early 2020 to combat employee activism and union organizing efforts at the company, according to court documents. 

Google’s director of employment law, Michael Pfyl, described Project Vivian as an initiative “to engage employees more positively and convince them that unions suck.”

Lauren Kaori Gurley

Hi-tech giants like Google are supposed to be great places to work. At least, that is the image they’ve tried to cultivate. But the truth is that fire at will employment isn’t great for workers, no matter how good the benefits and pay might be. It’s great that some Googlers are working together to secure better working conditions and representation for themselves by using American worker protection laws.

Naturally, management doesn’t want them doing this, and now we see the lengths they’ve gone to in the hopes of shutting this whole thing down. Let’s hope the legacy of “Project Vivian” is the opposite of what Michael Pfyl and Google executives had intended.