Google dismisses four employees involved in protest movements

Google's main campus

A Google spokesman told Business Insider the company "could confirm" the contents of the internal note published by Bloomberg but did not provide further comment. "Even worse, without the ability to access the documentation, many of us would be unable to change teams, to draw attention to ethical issues such as Maven., or share the colossal data maintenance work of billions of users". Google has acknowledged the memo but declined to say more.

The Google workplace has been disrupted by employee opposition to top-level decisions ranging from forging contracts with the U.S. military to tailoring a version of the search engine for China.

Both employees were placed on administrative leave prior to their dismissal, sparking protests outside Google's San Francisco office on Friday demanding that they be reinstated. One of those fired was Rebecca Rivers, a software engineer who was at the centre of a rally last week after she was indefinitely suspended. Google has denied any ulterior motive for its disciplinary actions in both cases."With these firings, Google is ramping up its illegal retaliation against workers engaging in protected organizing".

"We knew then, and it's clear now: this policy change was setting up an excuse to retaliate against organizers, allowing the company a pretext for picking and choosing who to target", Berland said. They protested against the termination of their two colleagues, Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland. The employees demanded at the rally that the suspension of Rivers and Berland must be revoked.

Google, known for its freewheeling culture, has lately tried overseeing what information employees discuss amid recent security breaches, including those involving the Defense Department. The Google Walkout group claims that all four employees fired today participated in the November 22nd rally. "When they did, Google got revenge against them".

In a tweet Rivers confirmed that she was being terminated.

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Bloomberg is reporting that the Google employees under investigation had searched and distributed information outside the scope of their jobs.

"This information, along with details of internal emails and inaccurate descriptions about Googlers' work, was subsequently shared externally", the email read. Berland, for his part, similarly said at the protest that he had been targeted for "retaliation" by Google for his criticism of how YouTube handled hate speech.

Meanwhile, workers in Zurich, Switzerland, recently held a meeting to discuss their rights as workers and what unionising would entail in defiance of Google's repeated attempts to cancel the event. As The Times reported, that global protest signaled employees' growing concern with a breakdown of the transparency and trust that long-defined Google's corporate culture. Google didn't immediately respond to follow-up questions about the claims.

Another bone of contention is Google's hiring of IRI Consultants, a firm that specialises in helping large organisations defang worker's attempts at organising themselves.

In a memo to all staff Monday, Google's Safety and Investigations Group mentioned "none of these individuals were fired for simply looking at documents or calendars during the ordinary course of their work", in keeping with a replica obtained by The Washington Submit.

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