Google employees walk out in protest over alleged sexual harassment

 SMTV Desk 2018-11-02 11:07:28  google, google employees, google staff protest
Google employees walk out in protest over alleged sexual harassment

Hyderabad, Nov 02: About 150 Google employees from India joined an unprecedented series of walkouts world over in protest at the company’s treatment of women and lenient treatment of senior executives accused of sexual misconduct.

Employees from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon offices joined the walkout. A Twitter feed, @GoogleWalkout, documented the movement across the world. Employees demanded an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination and a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.

Thousands of Google employees have staged walkouts in offices around the world in protest at the company s alleged protection of senior employees accused of sexual harassment and assault.

Staff in London, Zurich, Dublin, Haifa, Tokyo, Singapore and its Silicon Valley headquarters arranged protests backed by management, after a post on Google s internal social network suggesting a "women s walk" gained hundreds of votes.

More than a thousand employees at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, carrying signs that said “Stand up for Google women” and “Act now for our future”. Staff chanted "Women s rights are workers rights", and "Not OK, Google!"

Hundreds of employees at its San Francisco office walked out, holding signs with "Don’t Be Evil", a company motto, printed on it. Meirav Rotsten, an employee, said: "We’re here to collectively stand up and say No, no more, not here".

Workers took to a makeshift stage to share stories of harassment they claimed to have experienced at Google. One app developer said that she would never encourage children to think about a job in technology, likening it to "sending lambs to the slaughter".

Cathay Bi, one of the march s organisers, said: "I experienced sexual harassment at Google [and] I did not feel safe talking about it. That feeling of not being safe is why we are here today."

A Google employee who helped organise the event said: “Boy did I underestimate how big this was going to be.”

The protests were sparked by reports last week that a senior executive, Andy Rubin, received a 90 million dollars (£70 million) pay-off when he left Google in 2014 following a sexual harassment claim. Mr Rubin has called the reports false allegations.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, revealed last week that 48 employees had been fired for sexual harassment in the last two years. This week he sent an email to all employees apologising for the company s actions, promising to take a "much harder line" in future and giving the protest his blessing.

Outside Google s London headquarters, only around two dozen employees came outside, saying protest organisers had told them to hold their walkout in a conference room inside due to the "inclement weather".

Sam Dutton, a developer, said: "There is a big crowd inside. People are talking internally about the issues. We are supporting anyone anywhere that has been harassed in the workplace. There is a feeling everywhere that any kind of harassment in the workplace is completely unacceptable.

"Things have changed a lot. I ve been working for 40 years in offices in the past, and I know that a lot of things were swept under the carpet," Mr Dutton said. "There is a change in mood which is a good thing. I think bosses are listening. How we make changes that have a real effect is more complex, it s a longer project."