Employees at Google parent Alphabet Inc. have signed a petition, aimed at getting better treatment of staff during the layoff process, after the company announced that it was cutting 12,000 jobs. Following the layoffs, hundreds of Alphabet employees took their concerns to the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, in an open letter. The letter contained a series of demands aimed at improving the treatment of staff affected by the layoffs.
The workers made several specific requests to the company, including freezing new hires, allowing voluntary redundancies before compulsory ones, and giving priority to laid-off workers for job vacancies. They also requested that workers be allowed to finish scheduled periods of paid time off, such as parental and bereavement leave, and that employees be provided with extra support, especially those at risk of losing their visa-linked residency due to the layoffs.
Furthermore, the workers implored Alphabet to avoid terminating employees from countries with active conflicts or humanitarian crises, such as Ukraine. According to the letter, “The impacts of Alphabet’s decision to reduce its workforce are global. Nowhere have workers’ voices adequately been considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone.”
Alphabet opted to cut its workforce by approximately 6%, following pressure from investors to reduce spending during the post-pandemic slump. Several other tech giants, including Meta Platforms Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Microsoft Corp., have also cut down their workforce in recent months.
Although some Google workers, particularly in the US, lost their jobs immediately after the announcement, the process has been much slower for those in countries with stronger labor protections, which are common in Europe. The consultation processes, that are required by law in some countries, have sometimes been considered merely a box-ticking exercise by some folks who signed the petition. Management has not always taken feedback from staff into account, including the results of surveys where staff expressed interest in volunteering for redundancy or reduced hours.
The letter was created, organised, and signed by a group of employees supported by unions, including the Alphabet Workers Union, United Tech and Allied Workers, and UNI Global. The letter was born out of conversations that occurred via a Discord channel that was set up after the job cuts were announced.
This is a clear indication that the quality of the working environment in the tech industry is becoming an increasingly important issue. Workers are starting to make their voices heard, and companies will need to work towards meeting the expectations of their employees in order to maintain a healthy workplace.#Google #workers #hits #CEO #layoffs