Google workers gathered outside the company’s San Francisco office Friday to protest its recent decision to put two employees on administrative leave.
Protesters accused the company of retaliating against workers who have spoken out against some of its controversial projects, and charged that Google’s culture of openness is being stamped out.
A Google representative denied that the company had done anything wrong by placing the workers on leave, adding that concerns had been raised about the employees’ work conduct.
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SAN FRANCISCO — Hundreds of Google workers gathered in the courtyard of the company’s office here on Friday to protest its decision to place two employees on administrative leave.
The two employees at the center of the dispute — Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland — spoke at the rally, accusing the internet giant of targeting them for being outspoken critics of some of the company’s recent work. Google is systematically stifling its former culture of openness, they charged.
“Even though Rebecca and I are experiencing the full force of Google’s retaliation, this is not really about me. It’s not about Rebecca. It’s about us, all of us, and the open culture we built and treasure together,” Berland said. “If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone, and that culture is lost forever.”
Supporters carried signs saying things such as “Shame on Google!” and chanted, “bring them back!”
The rally highlighted the growing divide between Google’s employees and management. Over the past 18 months, the company’s workers have protested its decision to quietly develop artificial-intelligence technology for the US military and to build a censored search engine for China. Tens of thousands also walked out last fall in protest over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints.
Demonstrators at the rally …read more
Source:: Business Insider