Google employees have accused the search giant’s management of retaliating against some employees and showing a lack of transparency in its attempts to control Google’s notoriously open culture,media reported. On Friday, local time, workers gathered in the courtyard outside Google’s office near san Francisco’s waterfront to hold signs to protest.
Participants held signs that read “Google’s Shame,” “This Is Our Company” and “Always Unite.” The speaker stood on the bench to address the crowd.
The protests are understood to have stemmed from Google’s executive action against two employees, Laurence Berland and Rebecca Rivers. Earlier this month, the two were suspended indefinitely as the company investigated alleged violations of company policies, including access to file and calendar information, which Google said was beyond their scope. But Google activists say it is a punishment for workplace organizations.
“They want to intimidate everyone who doesn’t agree with the leadership,” Berland said at the rally. They want us to be afraid. They asked us to remain silent. “
Google employees who took part in the protest urged the company to reinstate Berland and River.
A Google spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. However, a spokesman defended the decision to take employees on leave earlier this week, adding at the time that such action was common during the investigation.
The rally comes amid heightened tensions between Google executives and ordinary employees. Activists at Google have protested several decisions by the leadership, including artificial intelligence contracts with the Pentagon and the leadership’s handling of sexual assault allegations.
In recent weeks, relations between Google executives and some employees have become increasingly strained. The company hired an outside company with an anti-union history to handle protests by employees inside the company. Last week Google said it would scale back its TGIF town hall meeting. Google CEO Sandal Pichai said the meeting would be held once a month, not weekly or biweekly.
“While TGIF isn’t perfect, at least we have a chance to ask questions,” Says Berland.
In addition, Google employees have challenged the company’s requirement that they install a calendar tool on their computers. The software is an extension of Google Chrome that marks meetings with more than 100 attendees or more than 10 rooms. Google employees accuse the company of spying on activists or organizing activities in this way. But Google’s response is that it’s just trying to reduce calendar spam.
River, who works at Google’s office in Boulder, Colorado, has previously been involved in drafting a petition. The petition urges companies not to bid for contracts that cooperate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. River said Friday that she was suspended from the company because she was investigating her access to internal documents.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done,” she said. “
In fact, Google employees have staged similar protests in the past. In November, 20,000 Google employees walked out of their offices to protest against Google’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against key executives. Six months later, Google employees staged another sit-in to protest the company’s “culture of revenge.” But Google denied the claim at the time.
People at the rally also pointed out that Google had lost contact with its employees.
“The leadership no longer knows us. They thought we were going to stop there,” Berland said. “