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Google 'rater' contract workers rally at Mountain View headquarters to demand higher pay

Google 'rater' contract workers rally at Mountain View headquarters to demand higher pay
Google 'rater' contract workers rally at Mountain View headquarters to demand higher pay 02:51

MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Dozens of Google workers from across the country rallied at Google headquarters Wednesday to demand higher wages and benefits from Google's parent company Alphabet.

With the backing of the Alphabet Workers Union, a group of Google contract workers known as "raters" made their voices heard on Google's main campus calling for fair pay and benefits.

"I support the largest revenue stream that Google has, and I don't have healthcare from my employer, and I don't have the money to manage my diastolic heart failure," said Ed Stackhouse, a Google rater. Raters are a group of remote workers who test and evaluate the algorithms used in products like Google Search.

"That means when you search for something on Google, that your search results are going to be accurate, helpful and relevant," said Michelle Curtis, a Google rater.

Google rater contract workers protest for higher wages and benefits at company headquarters in Mountain View, February 1, 2023. CBS

But these workers say they've been underappreciated and underpaid for years. Now they're organizing to try and force Alphabet to pay them the same as other Google workers.

"We want to be able to do our job well, to earn a dignified wage, and have access to basic benefits like health insurance and paid time off," said Google rater Teresa Partain.

This fight comes at a time when tech companies, including Google, have been laying off thousands of employees citing economic uncertainty and worries of a recession.

But these raters and their supporters say the tech companies are only looking to increase their profits.

"We're here to say that we need to hold these companies accountable as they're posting record profits to pay works fairly and to ensure that both contract workers and direct employees alike are held to the same standards," said Megan Abell with TechEquity Collaborative.

The raters attempted to hand deliver a petition citing their demands to Google executives but were stopped by security. Even so, they say they will continue to push for a face-to-face meeting with those executives.

KPIX reached out to Google for comment, but they have not responded as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. 

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