After coming under fire for relying on low-cost, third-party temporary workers, tech giant Google has announced to hire 3,800 "in-house" full-time employees in 2020 at various sites, including in India who will be responsible for customer care support 24/7.
Troy Dickerson, Vice President, Google Operations Centre stated, “In 2020, we'll be expanding our footprint by opening a Google Operations Centre in Mississippi, to join new and expanding sites in India and the Philippines.”
Till date, customer and user support, such as answering calls, product troubleshooting and campaign set-up, has often been supplied by third-party organizations on Google's behalf at various back-end outsourcing hubs across the world including India.
It was in 2018 that the tech giant had announced a pilot programme to enhance customer and user support by bringing some of these jobs in-house, so the work is undertaken by employees. Based on the feedback it has received, the tech giant is expanding by the end of 2020, and would have created more than 4,800 Google customer support jobs, including the 1,000 Google customer support agents already working in its Google Operations Centers.
Agents at Google Operations Centres would receive industry-leading wages and benefits, including three weeks of paid vacation, up to 22 weeks of paid parental leave and comprehensive health care (medical, dental and vision coverage). Agents are also entitled to participate in local culture clubs and have access to free meals while at work.
Mississippi will be the first US-based Google Operations Centre and is set to open in late 2020, to join new and expanding sites in India and the Philippines, as per Google.
The development comes after 10 US Senators in August called on Google to make contractors full-time employees after they've worked with the company for more than six months. The senators urged Google to treat all Google workers equally. Given that the tech giant is also facing internal activism, with the company firing the fifth employee last week for sending browser pop-ups about the labour rights at the company, the announcement to hire full-time customer support care workers seems the first step in the direction to dispel notions about it misusing independent contractors or temporary workers to avoid paying benefits typically extended to full-time workers.