For the first time, Google employees with several activists and investors coordinated more proposals that they made at a company shareholder meeting on Wednesday. About 100 Google employees and community activists also protested as a single group outside the Alphabet headquarters during the meeting.
It was an escalation of an employee-organizing movement within Google to demand more transparency from corporate governance and to point out complaints about issues such as the company's sexual harassment policy and its efforts to build a censored search engine in China.
Previously, shareholders have submitted independent proposals, and workers have tried to stop controversial corporate policies. But Wednesday's efforts are the first time that company employees formed a broad coalition with several activist groups and investors to push Google, according to the organizers of Coworker.org, who helped connect employees with investors to collaborate on five shareholder proposals.
Google employees; Silicon Valley Rising coalition and activist coalition; SEIU-USWW (a union representing security officers and security officers); and community groups helped to arrange the rally outside the meeting.
"We're here as members of the Google community who say we should do better," said Wyatt Ratliff, a Google employee. "Many of my colleagues report sexual harassment to HR, and HR is working to defend the company and the charges."
One of several shareholder proposals presented on Wednesday called on the management to assess whether the company should adopt and implement additional policies on sexual harassment and reporting its results. Like the other 1
Ratliff said that Google has "done some right steps in the right direction" since the historic employee-led walk-out last May, when 20,000 Google workers left work to protest against the company's handling of sexual harassment claims, but said "it's still not enough."
Other Google employees talked about their concerns about working conditions for temporary, merchant and contract staff (TVCs) – which account for more than half of the company's workforce. A TVC in the protest, who preferred to remain anonymous, said many of his peers are disturbed by low wages and other problems at work, but are afraid that management will repeat if they speak. Two of the employee's organizers of Google Walkout have recently accused Google of reciprocating against them because of their role in protests. The alphabet has maintained that it prohibits any retaliation in its workplace.
Finally, it came as no surprise that none of the proposals existed – when the company opposed all the proposals, and Google co-founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin hold 51 percent of the alphabet's voting.
Still, the organizers said that despite the power of Alphabet & # 39; s concentrated companies, actions such as theirs help put pressure on the company to address social problems.
A sign from the protest, lists the first names of the members of the Alphabet's board, read "Sundar, Larry, Sergey, Ruth, Kent – You are not talking to us!"
A Google employee who spoke at the protest asked the audience if they thought it was a "coincidence" that Google recently announced it would invest $ 1 billion. dollars against affordable housing after many years of community and employee activism in the issue. An employee at the demonstration told Recode that Wednesday's protest was an attempt to push the company to make several changes. "The alphabet is a great place, it doesn't just consist of a board," said the employee.