After organizing a sit-in on Mayday to protest against the ongoing retaliation in the company against two Google Walkout organizers, Google employees yesterday published a post on medium calling for clear and actionable demands. The sit-in was organized to protest alleged retaliation toward employees at the hands of their managers
“From being told to go on sick leave when you’re not sick, to having your reports taken away, we’re sick of retaliation,” Google employees tweeted via @GoogleWalkout. “Six months ago, we walked out. This time, we’re sitting in.”
— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) May 1, 2019
In the past, Google had several fallings with its staff. In April, two Google Walkout organizers accused the company of retaliation against them over last year’s Google Walkout protest and hosted a Retaliation Town Hall to share their stories and strategize. Following the statements of Whittaker and Stapleton, the two organizers in the town hall session, several current, and former Googlers took to Twitter to register complaints and share their experiences of facing retaliation from the company. This protest quickly became a forum where over 350+ current and past employees shared their experience with retaliation under the hashtag #NotokGoogle.
Last year 20,000 Google employees along with Temps, Vendors, and Contractors walked out to protest the discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment that they encountered at Google’s workplace. They had laid out an original set of demands, which Google failed to fulfill, delivering on only one of them partially.
Now, walkout organizers have reiterated their demands stating, “We issued a clear, articulate, and actionable set of demands. Google has had six months to meet these demands: in that time, they’ve partially met only one of them.”
The Walkout was a turning point: a moment where Googlers called on the company to do right by its people. We issued clear & actionable demands. Google has had 6 months to meet these demands: in that time, they’ve partially met only one of them. 1/8
— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) May 8, 2019
“Google seems to have lost its mooring, and trust between workers and the company is deeply broken. As the company progresses from crisis to crisis, it is clear Google management is failing, along with HR. It’s time to put HR on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) and bring in someone we trust to supervise it. It’s time to escalate.” highlights the medium blog post.
The most important call demanded by Googlers is to fix Google’s HR department. They say, “We call for a transparent, open investigation of HR and its abysmal handling of employee complaints related to working conditions, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.” They want third-party investigators who will not prioritize the company and the reputation of abusers and harassers over their victims (something which Google’s internal team tends to do a lot). They even quoted Uber who brought in Eric Holder and Arianna Huffington, who led the investigation into a former Uber employee’s claims of sexism and sexual harassment at the workplace.
“These investigators need to be selected by Googlers and have no financial relationship with Google or Alphabet. They will need to respect the wishes of any worker they speak to as to whether they want to make their stories public and then publish their findings publicly”, Google Walkout for real change mention in the blog post.
Googlers also urge the company to meet the original Google demands. “Google must meet the Walkout demands, already.” The earlier demand for putting an employee representative on the company’s board of directors and having the chief diversity officer report directly to the CEO has received no response from Google.
After the retaliation faced by Whittaker and Stapleton, they also demand that Google, “unblock Meredith’s transfer, and allow her to continue her work as before, fully funded and supported, and to allow Claire to transfer to a new team without continued retaliation and interference.”
Employees also want Alphabet CEO Larry Page to intervene and address the demands of the walkout as well as recommit Google to meeting them. “Larry controls Alphabet’s board and has the individual authority to make changes, where others do not,” the organizers wrote.
Google declined to comment but pointed to its previous statement regarding retaliation:
“We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation.”