Google Walkout Is Just the Latest Sign of Tech Worker Unrest

WIRED | 11/1/2018 | Nitasha Tiku
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Thousands of Google employees and contractors around the globe—many of them women—briefly walked off the job Thursday to protest Google’s handling of sexual harassment claims and other workplace issues, and to demand more transparency around harassment incidents and pay levels at the company. The demonstrations took place outside about 40 Google offices, including Singapore, London, New York, San Francisco, and the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The protest was spurred by a recent New York Times article about Google awarding multimillion-dollar exit packages to top male executives accused of sexual misconduct, including a $90 million payment to Android founder Andy Rubin, even after Google investigators found credible a claim that Rubin coerced a female employee into performing oral sex.

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In San Francisco, workers carried signs saying “Not OK Google” and “Equal Pay 4 Equal Work.” One popular sign at the walkout read: “HAPPY TO QUIT FOR $90M — NO SEXUAL HARASSMENT REQUIRED.” Organizers led the crowd in chants like “Time’s up for Google,” and read accounts of workplace harassment from anonymous Google employees, who did not share their names. One story mentioned two female Google workers who walked by a male manager, who later messaged one of them to say, “If you’re going to lez out, ping me so I can watch.” The woman reported the incident to a human resources representative, who allegedly told her, “Oh, I hear stories like this all the time.” Google did not respond to a request for comment.

Software engineer Irene Knapp, who participated in the walkout, says Google employees tend to “try to work within the system,” but after learning about these payouts, “We can’t just ask nicely.”

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“As the recent article and the executive response make clear, these problems go all the way to the top,” the walkout organizers wrote in a press release. “ENOUGH....
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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