A walkout was staged by hundreds and thousands of Google employees on Friday at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, where chants of ‘Time is up on your sexual harassment’ were used to protest against the company’s handling of sexual harassment.
Probably the largest among the dozens of rallies that occurred at Google offices globally, the Mountain View walkout drew out many male and female employees in support.
The core organizer of the rally, Google staffer Celie O’ Neil- Hart told the journalists that it was time for action, given all the stories that have been circulating for so long.
After the New York Times reported that top two executives from Google who resigned over credible sexual misconduct charges received lucrative exit packages; the companywide walkout was planned. Andy Rubin, the founder of Android was reported to be one of the two executives was reported to be given a sum of $90 million.
The organizers of the walkout claim this piece of report to be just one of the many stories depicting the workplace sexual harassment employees and not just the sole trigger.
The journalists were not permitted in the walkout by Google’s security staff despite such a huge crowd. O’ Neil- Hart said that some employees shared their personal experiences with sexual harassment over the microphone.
Five specific changes are being demanded by the organizers. Organizers need Google to start publishing a transparency report over sexual harassment cases at the company and they also want the company to cease the practice of “pay and opportunity equity”. Furthermore, the workers won’t stand for company’s arbitration in matters of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination- related cases and want to be able to bring the aforesaid charges in court.
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai has shown support towards the workers who wish to join the walkout; however the company has not confirmed compliance towards the aforesaid demands. Sundar Pichai said that the ideas by the employees for improvement are constructive and that they are being noted to be acted on.
While the company has not denied paying huge sums as exit packages to Andy Rubin or senior executive Amit Singhal after their resignation, the company revealed firing of 48 employees for sexual harassment including 13 senior managers or more in the last two years, without exit packages.
Employees from 60% of Google offices across the globe joined in the protest, most of whom left 40 minutes after the rally commenced and the remaining stayed for another hour sharing their stories and speeches; according to the rally organizers.