Seeking access to pay raises and benefits, dozens of Google evaluators gathered yesterday at Mountain View’s Googleplex with the goal of ending “poverty wages.”
why you care. Google says it uses as many as 16,000 raters, about 5,000 of which are based in the United States. As a group, Google’s human raters help ensure the usefulness, quality and relevance of search results by identifying potentially harmful results, spam, outdated information, etc. Now known as EEAT. Other elements that go into what is covered.
Protest in Mountain View. The goal was to deliver a petition signed by over 600 workers to Google’s SVP Prabhakar Raghavan, who is responsible for Google’s Search, Assistant, Geo, Advertising, Commerce and Payments products.
They wanted Raghavan to meet and negotiate with the workers. However, the group was stopped by security, according to KPIX, a Bay Area news channel owned by CBS.
The Alphabet Union tweets about the protest. so twitter threadAlphabet Labor Union, explained the evaluator’s claims, saying that the evaluator is “responsible for training, testing, and evaluating search algorithms. Their work has generated billions of dollars in profits for Google, and they I’m making some change.”
The group noted that Google evaluators do not receive benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave, and parental leave.
Raters provide Google with an intangible service that evaluates the quality of Google Search and Google Ads. It’s a product that brings billions of dollars to the company.
However, Google denied these workers access to the company’s own “minimum standard” wages and benefits for “extended workers.”
Evaluator raise? At least some of Google’s evaluators reportedly got raises this year.
Historically, US-based evaluators (actually employed through subcontractors) have been found to be paid only between $10 and $14.50 an hour. That’s less than the $15 hourly minimum wage Google pays his TVC (temporary, vendor, and contractor staff). (As a side note, the California minimum wage is $15.50 an hour and the US minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.)
Michelle Curtis, one of Google’s quality evaluators, said in an interview with MarketWatch: “But we play a key role in our growing revenue stream.”
However, in an interview with Search Engine Land, year 2012, we find that a quality rater earns $14.50 an hour. So this latest “pay raise” for today’s evaluators simply put some evaluators back to the same pay levels he was earning more than a decade ago.
Overall picture. The protests came shortly after Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced 12,000 layoffs that affected employees and contractors.
But these layoffs followed two years of heavy hiring as Google’s headcount grew from 119,000 employees in 2019 to 150,000 by the end of 2021. As of September 2022, Alphabet has his 187,000 employees.
Dig deeper. Google “evaluators” contract workers gather at Mountain View headquarters to demand a higher salary from Kelsi Thorud.