Fighting the good fight. Image: Mason Trinca / getty By Jack Morse2018-11-08 23:37:30 UTC The battle to reform Google is just getting started. Hours after Google CEO Sundar Pichai emailed employees a plan to end forced arbitration in cases involving sexual harassment and assault at the company, organizers of last week’s global Google walkout responded with […] Fighting the good fight. Image: Mason Trinca / getty By Jack
Image: Mason Trinca / getty
The battle to reform Google is just getting started.
Hours after Google CEO Sundar Pichai emailed employees a plan to end forced arbitration in cases involving sexual harassment and assault at the company, organizers of last week’s global Google walkout responded with a statement of their own. The letter, signed by nine employees, was clear: There’s more work to be done.
“We commend this progress, and the rapid action which brought it about,” read the statement in part. “However, the response ignored several of the core demands — like elevating the diversity officer and employee representation on the board — and troublingly erased those focused on racism, discrimination, and the structural inequity built into the modern day Jim Crow class system that separates ‘full time’ employees from contract workers.”
The walkout organizers say that they’re frustrated by Pichai’s failure to address key elements of their complaint – for example, widespread pay discrimination.
“[The] company must address issues of systemic racism and discrimination, including pay equity and rates of promotion, and not just sexual harassment alone,” continued the statement.
The walkout, which took place on Nov. 1, saw approximately 20,000 employees leave their Google offices around the globe at 11:10 a.m. local time. The coordinated effort followed reports that Google paid Android creator Andy Rubin $90 million after it had determined that allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him were credible.
While we’re thrilled to see progress on sexual harassment, we will not let up on the demands most urgent for women of color: an employee representative on the board, elevating the chief diversity officer, greater transparency on & an end to opportunity inequity at Google & beyond
— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) November 8,2018
“We demand a truly equitable culture,” organizer Stephanie Parker wrote in response to Pichai’s Nov. 8 email, “and Google leadership can achieve this by putting employee representation on the board and giving full rights and protections to contract workers, our most vulnerable workers, many of whom are Black and Brown women.”
Organizers say they intend to meet with Google execs in pursuit of getting all — not just some — of their demands met. This means the ball is once again in Pichai’s court.
Time will tell if he drops it.

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