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In An Open Letter Addressed To  Sundar Pichai, Google Employees Made A Series Of Demands 

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In An Open Letter Addressed To  Sundar Pichai, Google Employees Made A Series Of Demands 
18 Mar 2023
5 min read

News Synopsis

As Google parent Alphabet Inc. said it was cutting 12,000 jobs, over 1,400 employees signed a petition demanding improved treatment of employees during the layoff process.

Employees made a series of demands of the company in an open letter addressed to Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, including freezing new hires, seeking voluntary redundancies before compulsory ones, giving priority to laid-off workers for job vacancies, and allowing workers to complete scheduled periods of paid time off, such as parental and bereavement leave.

The workers also urged Alphabet to avoid firing employees from countries with current wars or humanitarian crises, such as Ukraine, and to give further assistance to individuals who face losing their visa-linked residency as well as their jobs.

“The impacts of Alphabet’s decision to reduce its workforce are global," the letter said. “Nowhere have workers’ voices adequately been considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone."Nowhere have workers’ voices adequately been considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone."  According to the letter. "

The petition comes after Alphabet announced in January that it will lay off approximately 6% of its employees in response to investor pressure to reduce expenditure in the post-pandemic slump. Other IT titans that have reduced employment in recent months include Meta Platforms Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Microsoft Corp.

Alphabet's representative did not immediately respond to the petition. Pichai stated in an email to employees on Jan. 20 that the business hired for a “different economic reality than the one we face today" and that he took “full responsibility."

Although some Google employees, especially those from the United States, were laid off quickly, the process has been lengthier for individuals in nations with better labor laws, such as those found in Europe. Googlers in Switzerland, for example, just found out who was laid off this week, prompting a walkout on Wednesday.

A group of employees coordinated the letter, which was endorsed by unions such as the Alphabet Workers Union, United Tech and Allied Workers, and UNI Global. It arose from talks on a Discord channel that was set up after the job layoffs were announced.

Labor organizations have helped in the drafting of multiple petitions involving layoffs at various Google units and in the countries where it operates.

Several of those who signed the petition told a news agency that they are concerned that the legal consultation processes in certain nations have devolved into a box-ticking exercise. Staff feedback to management, including results of questionnaires in which workers indicated an interest in volunteering for redundancy or reduced hours, they claimed, was ignored.