Google workers were absolutely right to walk out in protest over “sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone”.
The rise of movements such as the Repeal movement, #metoo and #ibelieveher have shown that women today are sick of old sexist ways and will no longer stand for their continuation.
Mass demonstrations helped to get rid of the sexist 8th amendment in Ireland. There is no reason why sexism should continue to prevail in the workplace.
Workers who took part in #googlewalkout are also right to highlight problems with the policy of forced arbitration.
Forced arbitration allows the company to keep grievances and serious complaints in-house. These can often leave a worker with no option for appeal.
The pay-out of $90 million to a senior executive with a credible allegation of sexual misconduct against him, shows that the in-house approach to serious complaints is not appropriate.
Recent actions by Google workers against plans to build censored versions of search engines for China was great. So too was the push back against defence contracts with the Pentagon.
It shows that one of the largest companies in the world can be forced to retreat when faced with a disgruntled and organised workforce.
The key to holding Google to account in its proclaimed philosophy of ‘do no evil’ is staying organised. The best way to do that is for workers to form themselves into a union. By bringing everyone together into a collective movement, a union can:
- Challenge a company culture that permits sexual harassment.
- Promote a proper work-life by establishing set hours of work when you leave the job.
- Make one of the richest companies in the world pay more in wages to enable you to live decently in an expensive city like Dublin.
Pilots at Ryanair have recently joined a union and won major improvements in their working lives. You can do the same!
Remember: No company, however large or powerful, can generate its profits without its workers.
People before Profit has a Trade Union Department and parliamentary representatives in the Dáil who champion workers’ rights.
If you want to speak to someone about these issues, just text GOOGLE to 087 283 9964 and one of our organisers will contact you.