Google workers protest against layoffs and low wages in Cali, NYC
The tech giant has recently fired around 12,000 employees- around six percent of its global workforce- this January.
Google employees staged protests on both US coasts this week to call attention to labour conditions for subcontracted workers and support thousands of co-workers who were recently laid off. The tech giant has recently fired around 12,000 employees- around six percent of its global workforce- this January.
One rally was held on Wednesday at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, while another took place near Google’s corporate offices in New York City.
About 50 employees staged a protest in New York outside a Google store on Ninth Avenue, just minutes after parent company Alphabet Inc reported fourth-quarter results, including $13.6 billion in profit.
A software engineer said that Google had debunked its own rationale for laying off 12,000 of its employees. It was clear that the menial savings the company was pocketing from laying off workers was nothing in comparison to the billions spent on stock buy-backs or the billions made in profit last quarter, the engineer added.
Both demonstrations were organised by the labour group Alphabet Workers Union – a “minority union” that doesn’t have collective bargaining rights, and whose members include Google subcontractors as well as employees.
In California’s rally, dozens of subcontractors spoke out against what they called substandard conditions, including what they said were “poverty wages and no benefits.”
Their tasks include reviewing content to help train the company’s AI-powered algorithms, as well as screening YouTube clips and searching ads for offensive or sensitive material. However, the workers say their pay and benefits fall far below Google’s own minimum standards and benefits for its direct contract workers,