Google employees demonstrated outside the company’s San Francisco office on Friday to protest the internet giant’s recent decision to let two employees off. The incident is the latest sign of growing rifts between Google’s management and ordinary employees. Google has been praised for its open corporate culture. Protest employees say Google is trying to calm internal radicalism and to settle divisions between the company and the military and other potential potential potential customers.
About 200 workers gathered outside Google’s office overlooking San Francisco Bay around 11 a.m. local time Friday.
“Over the past two years, many of my colleagues have called on the company to take meaningful action to reduce sexual harassment and systemic racism, improve working conditions for temporary workers, suppliers and contractors, and give up bad technology,” said Zora Tung, a Google software engineer. Instead of listening to us, the company chose to keep us quiet. “
Protesting Google employees also said that Google unfairly placed Laurence Berland and Rebecca Rivers on indefinite administrative leave without warning. They demanded that Google immediately get its employees back to work.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Google had taken two employees off the holiday, and a Google spokesman said it was because they were suspected of violating the company’s policies. In an email, Google’s protesters said the company did not explain the punishments for Berland and Rivers. Rivers, who is involved in internal protests against U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is currently testing a Google Cloud product. Berland is an active participant in protesting YouTube’s handling of hate speech.
“This is a violent threat to try to silence employees,” the employee said in an email. “。
Rivers said the official reason Google took her leave was to investigate her access to Google’s files to make sure “everything went well.”
“However, many of the issues in this trial have focused on my involvement in customs and border protection petitions and the use of social media,” Rivers said. I helped my colleagues understand what Google and CBP are doing together. Many of my colleagues are immigrants, which has a direct impact on their lives and communities. “
Mr. Berland said Google punished him for participating in protests against YouTube and asked Google and other colleagues not to cooperate with CBP.
“Even though Rebecca and I are going through google’s focus on revenge, it’s really not about me, it’s not about Rebecca. It’s about us, all of us, and the open culture that we build and cherish together,” Berland said. “If they can do this to me, and they can do it to anyone, the culture will disappear forever.” “
A company spokesman said Google was investigating access to confidential and other information that could make employees feel insecure.
The spokeswoman said: “We have clear guidelines for appropriate behaviour at work and we have raised some concerns. We have been thoroughly investigating these issues. “
Over the past 18 months, Google’s leaders and outspoken employees have been increasingly divided. Employees protested the leadership’s handling of sexual harassment complaints and launched internal campaigns against Google’s projects, such as a vetted search engine, a military contract and a cloud deal between Google and energy companies. These areas are seen as a potential source of revenue growth for Google.
Recently, some employees accused managers of trying to review internal discussions and shut down meetings on labor rights. At least part of the tension stems from Google’s new community guide in August aimed at curbing uncivilized behavior in the workplace.
Last week, Google canceled its weekly all-staff meeting in favor of a monthly meeting focused on business and strategic topics.