26 Apr 2019
It’s outrageous, even though it’s not surprising, that Google rewards harassers with tens of millions of dollars but retaliates against women who speak up against these and other unethical behaviors. The company had a choice after the walkout to meet the demands but instead they chose to retaliate.
We know from the struggles of other workers that retaliation is a common tactic. It shows us that behind the mask of playfulness and positivity, Google is just another ruthless business.
This isn’t just about the Walkout organizers—retaliation is about fear. This fear is difficult to confront alone and silences and isolates people when they need to be heard and supported the most. This means that the first step to ending harassment, discrimination, and unethical decision making needs to be ending retaliation. Protecting each other from retaliation means standing up against fear itself.
If Google thinks it can get away with doing this to some of our most visible and vocal coworkers, it will continue repeating these tactics on all of us. We have two choices: let fear paralyze us or, through collective action and solidarity, show that these tactics won’t work.
We go up and we go down together. If the company wants to mess with any workers organizing, they’re going to have to mess with all of us too.
TWC Portland Local Meeting
Saturday, 4/27 3PM at 2249 E Burnside Street in Portland
Boston Learning Club: China and Tech Worker Power
Sunday, 4/28 4PM at The Democracy Center in Cambridge
Tech Workers Coalition (NYC) General Meeting
Tuesday, 4/30 at 6:30PM in Brooklyn
TWC Monthly General Meeting
Thursday, 5/9 at 6:30PM in Seattle
The Code of Conduct is in effect at all TWC events.
In The News
As part of growing dissent against a 9-9-6 work culture (9AM - 9PM, 6 days a week), workers based largely in China started a Github repo hosting the website 996.icu. The phrase “refers to ‘Work by “996”, sick in ICU’, an ironic saying among Chinese developers, which means that by following the “996” work schedule, you are risking yourself getting into the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).” As the site has began to come under Chinese government censorship, Microsoft workers and Github (owned by Microsoft) workers are petitioning to ensure their companies don’t take the repo offline.
In protest of the laggard, harmful and helpless “victim-blamey recourse system” that is Google HR, one worker shares a tell-all account of harassment and stalking she experienced at work. “That’s right; he would receive a ‘stern warning.’ And if you’ve followed the Women’s Walkout, you know stern warnings at Google can mean anything from no warning at all to a multi-million dollar severance!”
VCs who claim that AI will reduce, not entrench, human bias in hiring processes are pouring money into companies like HireVue that are rolling out AI for interviews and recruiting.
Labor is winning, and women are to thank. “Today, public support for unions is at a record high, the feared fallout of the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME failed to materialize, and fast-growing sectors like digital media and fast-food service have added thousands of members to union rolls.”