New York Times: Google Employees Are Free to Speak Up. Except on Antitrust.. “Google employees are not shy about speaking up. In the last few years, they have openly confronted the company about building a censored search engine in China, the handling of sexual harassment claims and its work with the Pentagon on artificial intelligence technology for weapons. But there is one subject that employees avoid at all costs: antitrust.”
CNBC: Google is tightening rules on internal message boards as ‘new world creates urgency’. “Google is asking employees to take a more active role in moderating internal message boards, as those discussions get more heated and employees remain working from home, according to documents obtained by CNBC.”
The Verge: How Twitter is shifting the power balance from companies to their employees. “Last week, the worlds of technology and journalism were transfixed by a conflict that played out across across Instagram, Twitter, and the upstart audio-only social network Clubhouse. One reason it generated so much attention — you can read thorough accounts from varying perspectives at Vice, on Quora, or this venture capitalist’s Substack — is that you can approach the drama from so many angles. But despite the best efforts of everyone here, I still think the most clarifying way to understand the story of Steph Korey, Taylor Lorenz, Balaji Srinivasan, venture capital, and Clubhouse has mostly gone unspoken. And those who fail to see it, I think, could be in for a rude awakening of their own.”
CNBC: Google employees petition company to cancel police contracts. “Google employees are signing an internal petition, calling on the company to stop selling technology to police departments. The letter, with the headline ‘No Police Contracts,’ began circulating last week and has been signed by more than 1,100 employees, who identify themselves as part of ‘Googlers Against Racism.'”
NBC News: ‘Dead’ links and ‘missing’ systemic changes: Inside Google’s response to the George Floyd protests. “Ten current and former Google employees spoke to NBC News about the internal dynamics at the company on the condition of anonymity because of strict company policies against speaking to news organizations, as well as non-disclosure agreements signed by ex-employees. The sources pointed to rising complaints from some black Google employees about how the company has responded to the ongoing protests in support of racial justice and against police violence, exacerbated by what they see as the company’s retreat on diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
CNET: Employee who protested Facebook’s stance on Trump posts fired over tweet. “Facebook fired an employee who protested the social network’s hands-off approach to President Donald Trump’s controversial posts after he publicly called out another employee’s ‘inaction’ in a tweet.”
Washington Post: Facebook employees said they were ‘caught in an abusive relationship’ with Trump as internal debates raged. “At an emergency town hall meeting Facebook held this week, days after President Trump posted, ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’ on his account, 5,500 Facebook employees had a demand for Mark Zuckerberg. Before the meeting, the employees voted in a poll on which questions to ask the chief executive at the meeting, according to internal documents viewed by The Washington Post. The question that got the most votes: ‘Can we please change our policies around political free speech? Fact checking and removal of hate speech shouldn’t be exempt for politicians.'”
The State: West Columbia chicken plant workers say they were fired for protesting pay, conditions. “About a dozen workers at a chicken processing plant in West Columbia were fired Wednesday after protesting for better pay and working conditions amid the coronavirus, according to some of those who said they were fired. Workers at the House of Raeford chicken plant refused to work under what they consider hazardous conditions without pay to compensate for the increased dangers of the coronavirus, the protesters told The State as they congregated on the sidewalk across Sunset Boulevard from the plant.”
Vice: General Electric Workers Launch Protest, Demand to Make Ventilators. “On Monday, General Electric factory workers launched two separate protests demanding that the company convert its jet engine factories to make ventilators. At GE’s Lynn, Massachusetts aviation facility, workers held a silent protest, standing six feet apart. Union members at the company’s Boston headquarters also marched six feet apart, calling on the company to use its factories to help the country close its ventilator shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
CNET: Google HR chief Eileen Naughton to step down amid employee tensions. “Google’s head of human resources, Eileen Naughton, said on Monday she will depart that role, as tensions continue to rise between company management and workers who have protested the search giant’s workplace culture.”
Motherboard: Google Is Trying to Poach Amazon’s Protesting Employees. “A Google recruiter posted on LinkedIn on Monday asking Amazon employees involved in activism at their company to apply to work at Google. This was an odd decision considering Google is in the midst of its own crackdown on labor activism, and that Google also works with oil companies in a manner similar to Amazon.” Apparently this was a mistake on the recruiter’s part.
Mashable: 2019 was the year tech workers organized . “Toxic workplace culture, terrible pay, union busting, weapons contracts, anti-immigrant work, and political misinformation. Tech workers finally had enough. In 2019, white- and blue-collar workers at big tech firms stood up for what they believed in. Here’s a quick recap.”
Culver City News: Polish Solidarity Collection Donated to Wende Museum. “The Wende Museum of the Cold War received a groundbreaking collection of materials from the Polish Solidarity movement, an anti-Soviet and anti-authority movement that is credited for playing a vital role in the collapse of the Soviet Union during the 1980s. The Polish Solidarity is a trade union that was formally started in September of 1980 in Poland and was made up of a group of workers that were striking against the scarce economy, rising food prices, and authoritarian state under a Polish government that was controlled by the Soviet sphere of influence.” Plans are to digitize the collection and make it available online.
The Guardian: What we learned from over a decade of tech activism. ” Googlers grappled with unionization, fought against increasing corporate hostility, and challenged their company’s unethical partnerships. Even Chinese tech workers have joined in, with the viral 996.icu campaign that demanded more reasonable working hours. We documented all the collective actions in the tech industry in a publicly accessible online database and analyzed the results. What we learned challenges many mainstream media narratives about the tech workers’ movement. Here are our eight most important insights.”
ELLE Magazine: Google Loved Me, Until I Pointed Out Everything That Sucked About It. “My last day came in May 2019, six months after the Google Walkout, during which 20,000 Googlers left their desks in a mass protest unprecedented in the tech industry. I helped to organize it after corporate documents obtained by the New York Times showed that Google paid executive Andy Rubin nearly $90 million in severance after he was accused of sexual misconduct. Little did we know it would be like waving a lit match in front of a powder keg: when people poured out of Google offices in 50 cities around the world a week after the severance news broke, it was clear this wasn’t just about Andy Rubin anymore.”