Fired Google staff members prepare to submit labor problems with federal government


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Google employees at a rally in San Francisco. 

James Martin/CNET

Four Google staff members who were fired in November state they prepare to submit charges of unjust labor practices versus the search giant with the National Labor Relations Board. In an article Tuesday, the previous staff members implicated Google of shooting them for “engaging in protected labor organizing.”

Google last month stated it fired 4 staff members for what the business stated were infractions connected to information security. The terminations came simply days after roughly 200 Google employees and other fans held a rally outside among Google’s San Francisco workplaces. The activists at the rally declared that Google management was striking back versus staff members for speaking up versus the search giant.

The 4 staff members — Laurence Berland, Paul Duke, Rebecca Rivers and Sophie Waldman — stated Tuesday that Google attempted to “smear” them in media reports. They stated the business spread out incorrect reports that the staff members “leaked” delicate info. 

“No company — tech giant or otherwise — should be able to interfere with workers’ rights to organize for better working conditions, including ethical business practices,” they composed in a joint declaration. 

The shootings make sure to magnify stress in between Google management and rank-and-file staff members who have actually opposed the business’s choices on social problems. The search giant has actually worked with an outdoors company with a history of anti-union efforts, as Google handles uprisings from employees. The business previously this month stated it would downsize its TGIF city center conferences, an enduring business custom. Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated the conferences will be held monthly, rather of weekly or biweekly, due to the fact that of a “coordinated effort” to leakage remarks made at the internal conferences.


Rebecca Rivers, among the fired Google staff members, spoke at a rally last month.

James Martin/CNET

Activists within the search giant have actually opposed numerous choices by management, consisting of the finalizing of an expert system agreement with the Pentagon, Google’s operate in China and management’s handling of sexual attack accusations.

Google on Tuesday rejected the claim that the staff members were fired for speaking up versus the business.

“We dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of our longstanding data security policies, including systematically accessing and disseminating other employees’ materials and work,” a Google spokesperson stated in a declaration. “No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities.” 

At last month’s rally, 2 of the fired employees, Rivers and Berland, offered speeches condemning Google’s actions. The 2 were put on administrative leave previously for accessing files and calendar info that Google states was outside the scope of their tasks. The 2 staff members, in addition to Duke and Waldman, were fired days later on. Since the shootings occurred right prior to the Thanksgiving vacation, the group made the label amongst Google activists as the “Thanksgiving Four.”

“Our coworkers have heard Google’s excuses, and they aren’t buying it,” the fired staff members composed Tuesday. “Meanwhile, we too will continue the fight, alongside a broad coalition of those who understand the stakes of Google’s power, and the company’s lack of accountability.”

Originally released Dec. 3, 7: 29 a.m. PT.
Update, 9: 34 a.m.: Adds more background and declaration from Google.

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