Issue 24: Over 20,000 Google workers fight back!

02 Nov 2018

20,000 Google workers in 50 different cities walked off the job yesterday to protest the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment claims, among many other issues.

A photo of attendees at the Google walkout, carrying signs like 'Don't Be Evil'

A photo from yesterday's walkout

The walkout was organized in less than a week, seizing the moment after news broke that Google had let a sexual abuser, Andy Rubin, leave with a $90 million exit package

Here’s why the #GoogleWalkout organizers walked off the job, in their own words.

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.

During the #GoogleWalkout, a female employee recounted her personal story which happened during her time working at YouTube, a Google company. Surrounded by fellow employees at the company headquarters in Mountain View, California, she recalled a team outing where a male colleague asked to switch drinks. That is her last memory of the night. A team lead later told her that he saw her being led away from the festivities when she was compromised, and he had intervened to take her to a safe place. She escalated to HR, who instructed her to remain on the same team as her harasser.

“The first thing that HR did was silence me. They made it clear that I was the problem,” said the employee. “I lasted on that team for three months. Every day, I went into work. I cried in the car for an hour, and I went into work and faced my harasser until I could not do it anymore, and I left that team.”

… We walked out because tech industry business as usual is failing us. Google paying $90M to Andy Rubin is one example among thousands, which speak to a company where abuse of power, systemic racism, and unaccountable decision-making are the norm. From Maven, to Dragonfly, to a $90M sexual harassment bonus, it’s clear that we need real structural change, not adjustments to the status quo.

… 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.

If you’re a worker who participated in @GoogleWalkout, or a worker seeking support to make sure you can take action safely, workers across the industry & community members are on standby. We can’t provide legal aid, but we can provide help and solidarity. If you have experienced any retaliation or threats of retaliation, regardless of your location, please contact us at or call or text +1 (650) 516-6792.

Screenshot of a tweet from the @GoogleWalkout Twitter account

@GoogleWalkout on Twitter / Source

Upcoming Events

Learning Club: Tech Workers are Workers (NYC)
Thursday, 11/1 6:30PM 

Bay Area Contract Worker Meetup 
Saturday, 11/3 2PM at SV De-Bug in San Jose
Facebook Meetup

Learning Club: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs Climate 
Saturday, 11/3 3PM at Douglass Truth Branch of The Seattle Public Library

TWC Monthly General Meeting 
Thursday, 11/8 6:30PM at Seattle Labor Temple Association in Seattle

NW Marxism Conference 2018 
Sunday, 11/11 8:45AM at University of Washington in Seattle
Register Here

Learning Club: Science for the People Archive ‘70-‘89
Saturday, 11/17 4PM at TBD location in the Bay Area
Register Here

The Code of Conduct is in effect at all TWC events.

In The News

Orlando Police Department has deployed Amazon’s Rekognition facial recognition software “with limited training and little to no oversight from regulators or the public”.

A terrifying sea of Jeff Bezos faces protested Amazon’s selling of facial recognition software to ICE outside its headquarters in Seattle on Wednesday.

“We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” The USPS workers who deliver almost half of all Amazon deliveries are overworked and underpaid.

The Pentagon’s plan for social media surveillance is underway.

Facebook says they’ve brought transparency to political ads, but it’s proving to be little more than empty PR.  

Trump’s NLRB is attempting to make picketing by unionized workers illegal.  

The Hong Kong-based labor rights group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior says an Apple supplier factor illegally employed high school students through compulsory internships.

62% of jobs lack the wages and benefits to support a middle class lifestyle.

Chicago charter school teachers will strike, the first charter school strike in US history. “Our identity does not derive from our employer, it derives from our work,” says Chris Baehrend, the chair of CTU’s charter division. “I’m not a corporate representative, I’m a public educator.”

Hundreds of striking Marriott workers flooded San Francisco City Hall to give first hand stories of what it’s like to struggle to survive in the Bay Area on hotel worker wages. And how does Marriott keep its doors open while 2,500 workers aren’t showing up for work? The temp agency they’ve hired buses workers in from hours away and pays $7 an hour and no payment for transit time. The agency and Marriott are under investigation for labor violations. Meanwhile,#MarriottStrikers told TwitchCon attendees to “check out!”.

Berkeley Labor Center looks into the grind of working meal kit delivery jobs.

Questions and answers on how we forge a liberation toolbox for organizing in tech.

Richard Stallman talks to the New Left Review.

Song Of The Week

Zounds - Subvert

If you gotta job
You can be an agent
You can work for revolution
In your place of employment

If you gotta job you can be an agent
You can work for revolution in your place of employment
If you work in a factory throw a spanner in the works
Internal sabotage, hit them where it hurts

Subvert - Subvert - Subvert - Subvert

If you gotta job
Where they treat you like a slave
Where they treat you like a zombie
In their corporate grave

Photo of a 'Techieland' mural in San Francisco