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labor We’re the Organizers of the Google Walkout. Here Are Our Demands

A company is nothing without its workers. From the moment we start at Google we’re told that we aren’t just employees; we’re owners. Every person who walked out today is an owner, and the owners say: Time’s up.

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Google employees in Dublin walk out in protest over claims of sexual harassment, gender inequality and systemic racism at the tech giant, Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

Last week, the New York Times published an article about Google’s history of harassment, discrimination, support for abusers, and the people whose lives and careers become collateral damage in the process. The article provided a narrow window into a culture we, as Google employees, know well. These stories are our stories. We share them in hushed tones to trusted peers, friends, and partners. There are thousands of us, at every level of the company. And we’ve had enough.

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All employees and contract workers across the company deserve to be safe. Sadly, the executive team has demonstrated through their lack of meaningful action that our safety is not a priority. We’ve waited for leadership to fix these problems, but have come to this conclusion: no one is going to do it for us. So we are here, standing together, protecting and supporting each other. We demand an end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel this destructive culture.

So today, over 60 percent of all Google offices, and thousands of Google employees will walk out, around the world.

All employees protesting today are united in calling for these changes:

An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees, along with a right for every Google worker to bring a co-worker, representative, or supporter of their choosing when meeting with HR, especially when filing a harassment claim.

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A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously. The process today is not working, in no small part because HRs’ performance is assessed by senior management and directors, forcing them to put management’s interests ahead of employees reporting harassment and discrimination. The improved process should also be accessible to all: full-time employees, temporary employees, vendors, and contractors alike. Accountability, safety and an ability to report unsafe working conditions should not be dictated by employment status.

Promote the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. In addition, appoint an Employee Representative to the Board. Both the CDO and the Employee Representative should help allocate permanent resources for demands 1-4 and other equity efforts, ensure accountability to these demands, and propose changes when equity goals are not met.

A company is nothing without its workers. From the moment we start at Google we’re told that we aren’t just employees; we’re owners. Every person who walked out today is an owner, and the owners say: Time’s up.