Thousands of employees and workers in Alphabit are doing their best to preserve this giant edifice and provide technology that makes this world a better place, but officials made profit a top priority, and failed to provide the most basic requirements for a safe and fair work environment, according to the company’s employees.
In a report published by the American newspaper “NewYork times”, writers Parole Cole and Shiwi Chau – who are software engineers at Google and recently elected president and vice president of the Alphabet Workers Union – shed light on the abuses and practices in which they live. The company, and the efforts employees make to improve working conditions, are at one of the world’s largest technology companies.
Protests to improve conditions
The authors say that nearly 20,000 employees from Google and other Alphabet companies went out to demonstrate on November 1, 2018. A week before that date, the New York Times revealed that Google had offered tens of millions of dollars an end-of-service bonus. Of two executives accused of sexual misconduct towards a number of employees, but the company kept the matter secret and let them leave without any investigations or accountability; This angered the employees, and they took to the streets to demonstrate in such large numbers.
That morning, the employees spoke about their personal experiences, and the harassment and discrimination they face at the company. One employee held a sign that read, “I’ve reported (abuse) and he’s promoted.” Others wrote, “Sure, you are happy to leave the company for $ 90 million, without any accountability for sexual harassment.”
According to the authors, thousands of employees and workers at Google and the other subsidiaries of the parent company Alphabet have long been facing great difficulties, but executives ignored the matter, and in return focused on strengthening their relationships with repressive governments around the world, and developing artificial intelligence techniques that were used. For military purposes, and filled their pockets with the proceeds of hate ads.
The authors argue that Alphabet and Google officials have failed to improve working conditions for black employees. This led to many problems, the most recent of which was the expulsion of the researcher, Tymnet Gebro, a researcher of Ethiopian origin who is a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence She said she was fired from her job for working to address algorithmic bias, and for criticizing a number of artificial intelligence programs.
Thousands of company employees joined a widespread campaign to demand that officials provide explanations for the decision to fire Gibro, according to the authors. And many employees – some of whom have been working for the company for more than 10 years – also asserted that Alphabet is no longer a suitable place to work that one could choose with full awareness.
The two writers say that this is not the first time that the company’s employees have taken action against these abuses; They had previously forced officials to abandon the “Maven Project”, an artificial intelligence program that the company was preparing for the Pentagon, and the “Dragon Fly Project” to launch a search engine in China subject to government censorship.
After the pressure and protests, a number of temporary contractors in Alphabet received a $ 15 minimum wage per hour and health insurance, and after the November 2018 protests, the administration decided to allow employees to file lawsuits against sexual harassment, after it was forcibly preventing them from doing so in the previous.
However, all of this is not sufficient, according to the authors, as problems of discrimination and harassment still persist, and Alphabet continues to take strict measures against those who speak out about these practices, and prevent employees from expressing their views on a number of sensitive issues, such as the issue of antitrust.
Google engineers add that executives exploit this unsuitable environment to their advantage at the expense of minorities, especially black workers and people with special needs. And after every time workers and employees protest and demand change, executives make loose promises and make decisions aimed only at calming the situation and absorbing anger.
Among the big problems that need radical solutions – according to their opinion – is the problem of temporary workers who receive fewer salaries and benefits than others, although they often perform the same tasks as full-time employees, and most of them are black-skinned, who are employed in the company on a different system than the rest. .
The two authors conclude that Google must be faithful to the slogan it launched in 2004, which is that it is a company that “does good things for the world even if it gives up some short-term gains.”