Google workers stage worldwide walkouts

Thousands of Google workers around the world walked off the job to protest sexual harassment, gender inequality, and systemic racism at Google. Workers in New  York, London, Tokyo, Dublin, Berlin, Singapore, Zurich, and Haifa coordinated their walkout, many leaving at their desks notes that read: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest [against] sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.”

The protests followed a series of sexual harassment allegations against several executives at Google.The New York Times reported that Google provided an accused executive with a $90 million exit package while concealing details of the sexual misconduct allegation.

The Google workers made five demands of the employer:

  1. End to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination

  2. Commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity

  3. Publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report

  4. Clear, uniform, and globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously

  5. Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations to the Board of Directors and appoint an employee representative to the Board

The Google walkouts are the latest example of tech industry workers organizing to improve the conditions of their work -- and probably the largest action for the sector to date. Last year, Silicon Valley tech workers protested Palantir, a software company that could help the Trump administration collect data on immigrants and foreign travelers. And the Tech Workers Coalition, a labor rights organization in the tech sector, is pushing for just practices in the industry..

Links:
New Google Harassment Policy Falls Short of Worker Demands (Wired, Nov. 08, 2018)

Google walkout: global protests after sexual misconduct allegations (The Guardian, Nov. 1, 2018)

Demands of Google Employees (@GoogleWalkout, Nov. 1, 2018)

Tech workers protest Peter Thiel’s Palantir to protect immigrants (Speed Matters, Jan. 23, 2017)

Silicon Valley workers start to organize (Speed Matters, June 16, 2017)