Issue 26: Our contracts on our terms

16 Nov 2018

Two Thursdays ago, 20,000 Googlers walked out, demanding sexual harassment policies that center workers, not bosses and profits. Days later, management conceded to two of their demands, and since then, Facebook, eBay, Square and AirBnb have followed suit by removing forced arbitration clauses from employment contracts.

Actions that start at one workplace ripple across the industry. As we congratulate the workers who built pressure for the changes we’ve seen already, we also support them as they fight for deeper structural changes to bring true justice to the workplace.

In light of the wins, many remind that companies are in position to do so much more than end forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment only. Also see this detailed contextualization of the walkout in a macro view of class consciousness in the industry.

Screenshot of a tweet from the @GoogleWalkout Twitter account

@GoogleWalkout / Source

Upcoming Events

Who’s Behind ICE?
Friday, 11/16 6PM at The Women’s Building in San Francisco

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

Tech Workers Coalition (NYC) Happy Hour
Monday, 11/19 6:30PM at Starr Bar in Brookln

Dynamex and Contractor Know your Rights Training
Thursday, 12/6 6:30PM at The Women’s Building in San Francisco

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

In The News

Accenture workers are the latest to protest their employers’ contracts with border patrol. A circulating letter denounces the company’s five year contract to help hire new agents, saying: “The technology we provide is sold in the name of efficiency, but all we see is technology supercharging inhumane and cruel policies. We joined Accenture because we want to work for a company that does good in the world, a company that helps vulnerable immigrants, not facilitates putting them into cages.”

Ire and scrutiny of Facebook, Zuckerberg and Sandberg continues to heat up with the public no longer willing to look past the company’s consistent “violation of its most fundamental mission of building human connection”; details upon details emerge to illustrate the lengths execs will go to to protect profits. And in the midst of Brooklyn high school students staging a walkout last week in protest of shoddy web-based curriculum funded by the Chan-Zuckerberg foundation, critics have reminded us the curriculum’s stark contrast against the special schools built by tech bosses hoping their children can avoid screens in their educations.

Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition technology parses “language accent, ethnic origin, emotion, gender, age, and background noise” to create a customer’s “voiceprint” for more precisely targeted advertising.

Amazon’s HQ2 will cost taxpayers $4.6 billion.

The First Amendment Coalition and Working Partnerships USA are suing the City of San Jose for its secretive, backdoor negotiations with Google for its new mega-campus.

The 14 Lanetix engineers for fired for attempted unionization have been vindicated with a successful unfair labor practice claim brought through the NLRB and have been awarded $775,000.

Masks on, signs up! It’s day 44 and striking San Francisco hotel workers are still on the picket line, persisting through toxic air quality. Workers in Oakland, San Jose and San Diego have won the contracts they demanded; Marriott workers in Boston, Hawaii and San Francisco continue to march for better wages.

Song Of The Week

Heaven 17 - (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

Have you heard it on the news
About this fascist groove thang
Evil men with racist views
Spreading all across the land
Don’t just sit there on your ass
Unlock that funky chaindance
Brothers, sisters shoot your best
We don’t need this fascist groove thang
Brothers, sisters, we don’t need this fascist groove thang