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Google Moves Some Contractors to Full-Time Staff After Outcry

Mark Bergen
(Bloomberg) -- Google parent Alphabet Inc. said its headcount will keep rising for a few reasons, including, in the words of Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, “steps to optimize workforce deployment by moving certain customer support functions in-house.”Translation: Google is converting some contract employees to official staff.Google, like many of its tech peers, hires thousands of workers through outside vendors and agencies. These people, called TVCs (for temporary, vendor and contract workers), perform a range of tasks from custodial services to coding, but don’t all have the same pay, health care or famous perks of Googlers. The number of TVCs exceeded “full-time” staff around 2018, Bloomberg News has reported.The conditions of contract workers became a flash-point inside the company. In December, TVCs penned an open letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai arguing for better benefits. That prompted Google to begin requiring its contract companies to provide benefits such as health care and parental leave.An Alphabet spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that “some” customer support positions, once hired through a vendor, would join the staff. She declined to provide details. Porat told investors that the move “enhances operational effectiveness” and won’t alter company expenses.As of the second quarter, Alphabet employed 107,646 full-time staff.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg) -- Google parent Alphabet Inc. said its headcount will keep rising for a few reasons, including, in the words of Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, “steps to optimize workforce deployment by moving certain customer support functions in-house.”

Translation: Google is converting some contract employees to official staff.

Google, like many of its tech peers, hires thousands of workers through outside vendors and agencies. These people, called TVCs (for temporary, vendor and contract workers), perform a range of tasks from custodial services to coding, but don’t all have the same pay, health care or famous perks of Googlers. The number of TVCs exceeded “full-time” staff around 2018, Bloomberg News has reported.

The conditions of contract workers became a flash-point inside the company. In December, TVCs penned an open letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai arguing for better benefits. That prompted Google to begin requiring its contract companies to provide benefits such as health care and parental leave.

An Alphabet spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that “some” customer support positions, once hired through a vendor, would join the staff. She declined to provide details. Porat told investors that the move “enhances operational effectiveness” and won’t alter company expenses.

As of the second quarter, Alphabet employed 107,646 full-time staff.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Alistair Barr

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.