Facebook Workplace product allows employers to suppress union organizing

In a presentation, Facebook advertised the ability of its “Facebook Workplace” platform to remove and block trending topics such as the word “unionize.” Facebook Workplace is an office collaboration platform similar to Google Drive and Microsoft Teams  used by companies such as Walmart, which is known for quashing unionization efforts. 

“The AFL-CIO demands Facebook embrace global labor rights standards for all its 48,000 workers and for its contractors who employ tens of thousands more,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “That needs to start with committing to being neutral with respect to their employees’ and contract workers’ organizing efforts and recognizing their unions when they can show a majority of their co-workers have signed union cards.”

CWA has long maintained that Facebook has too much power over people’s lives. In December 2017, CWA filed a class action lawsuit against multiple large employers for their use of Facebook to prevent millions of older Americans from seeing job ads and CWA joined Freedom From Facebook, a coalition demanding the Federal Trade Commission curb Facebook’s power.  

Links:

Facebook pitched new tool allowing employers to suppress words like “unionize” in workplace chat product (The Intercept, June 11, 2020)

AFL-CIO Statement on Facebook’s Union-Busting Tool (AFL-CIO, June 12, 2020)