GOOGLE staff in New York and around the world are staging mass walkouts in protest of the company’s treatment of women.
The walkouts come as it’s reported the creator of Google’s Android software, Andy Rubin received a multi-million dollar severance pay from the firm amid sexual misconduct allegations.
It’s thought staff have reached boiling point after a New York Times article last week detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against Rubin, who has denied the claims.
The report claimed Rubin received a $90million – £70million – exit package in 2014, even though Google thought the allegations were credible.
Hundreds of Google engineers and other workers are walking out today in unprecedented protests at the company’s treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct.
The planned protests are scheduled for 11.10am local time at each of Google’s offices globally, with workers in Singapore, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Dublin, Haifa and Zurich already pictured walking out this morning.
In the US, walkouts started at the firm’s New York office as well as the Cambridge Massachusetts Google campus.
It’s reported that “thousands” of workers have filled streets around the New York office, with some carrying placards.
Walkout protests also started in Toronto, Canada at the company’s office.
Workers were seen pooling in the reception area before heading outside.
The walkout organisers said employees and contractors who are choosing to walkout will be leaving flyers on their desks which read: “Hi, I walked out for real change.”
It continues: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.
“I’ll be back at my desk later.”
The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination, which would make it possible for victims to sue.
In a statement, the Google Walkout said it was also calling for:
- A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
- A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
- A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
- To elevate the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. In addition, appoint an Employee Representative to the Board.
According to the BBC, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.
“I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel,” he said in an email to staff.”
“I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too.”
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Mr Pichai reportedly told staff that at least 48 other employees have been sacked for sexual harassment without receiving a payout, and admitted the New York Times’ report had been “difficult to read”.
In a statement to The Sun Online, Mr Pichai said: “Yesterday, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate.
“Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”
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