“Not Ok Google” Not Enough Effort is being Made to Address Gender And Ethnic Biases
About 200 tech giant employees announced in an article in the New York Times that they intend to form a union: “For far too long, the claims of thousands of us have been neglected by executives.”
Google workers ‘protests escalate: A group of about 200 technology giant employees in the US announced yesterday (Monday) its intention to establish a workers’ union, which will be open to joiners from all companies owned by Alphabet – Google’s parent company. Two Google software engineers – man and woman, They have already been selected to serve as chairmen and deputy chairmen, and are the ones who came out with the media initiative in a special opinion column published in the New York Times.
For far too long, the claims of thousands of us who work at Google and the various divisions of Alphabet, towards our workplace – have been neglected by senior executives,” the opinion piece described. “Our bosses are collaborating with repressive governments around the world. They have developed artificial intelligence for use by the Department of Defense, and have profited from hate group ads.”
The article also addresses the recent scandal in Google’s corridors – the dismissal of AI researcher Timnit has intensified, following a study that flooded criticism about artificial intelligence models and how not enough effort is being made to address gender and ethnic biases in their use. “In response to the layoffs, thousands of workers organized to demand answers. We heard from employees – some new and some with a decade of experience in the company, that they had decided that working for this alphabet was no longer a conscientious choice.”
The article lists some of the efforts of workers’ organizations in recent years, which have led to changes in the technology giant: abandoning dubious projects such as Maven – Google’s contract with the US Department of Defense to develop drones’ capabilities – following a workers’ protest; cancellation of Dragonfly project Censored for the Chinese government, and of course the abolition of forced internal arbitration in the case of sexual harassment allegations, a direct result of the 2018 global workers’ protest against Google’s poor treatment of two seniors accused of harassment and receiving a particularly fat compensation bag in exchange for early and quiet departure.
Another issue that has preoccupied workers in recent years is the terms of employment of contractor workers, who provide various services for the technology giants – including thousands of content reviewers who are exposed to particularly violent content, on YouTube for example. As contractor employees, their terms of employment do not come close to the benefits basket or the salary level of Google employees, but they are exposed to prolonged mental injury and some are even diagnosed as suffering from post-trauma, following the content monitoring work.
Joining Alphabet’s union will be done on a voluntary basis, with the aim of enabling all workers – including contractor workers, suppliers and temporary workers, to fight for their employment rights against the technology giant.