Google workers protest unchecked executive power at the firm

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Google office
PHOTO/COURTESY:Google

Google employees from all over the world on Thursday took to the streets to protest against sexism, gender inequality, racism and unrestricted managerial power 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.

According to Reuters, the employees want Alphabet Inc; Google’s mother company, to include an employee representative in the board of directors. Similarly, the employees are calling for adjustments in the company’s human resource department that is responsible for handling all employee complaints; an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination; a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity; a publicly disclosed sexual-harassment transparency report and a globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely.

“While Google has championed the language of diversity and inclusion, substantive actions to address systemic racism, increase equity, and stop sexual harassment have been few and far between,” organizers of the protest are quoted as saying.

The protest was sparked after the New York Times in October, 2018, posted a report that claimed former embattled Vice President of Google and founder of Android, Andy Rubin, was paid a hefty 90 million dollar exit package in 2014 despite facing sexual harassment allegations at the time.

Even though Rubin claimed the figure was slightly exaggerated, Google did not downplay the findings of the report.

Confirming the incident, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement that the company was taking into consideration the demands issued by the employees and that the matter would be resolved quickly.

The dissatisfaction among Alphabet’s 94,000 employees has not noticeably affected company shares. But employees expect Alphabet to face recruiting and retention challenges if their concerns go unaddressed.

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