Hundreds of Google’s employees have walked out of its Zurich offices in protest against the way the company has handled its mass layoffs so far this year, one month after a similar, smaller protest.
Earlier in February, IT workers’ union Syndicom (opens in new tab) announced that around 250 workers had engaged in a strike “in solidarity with those laid off by the company worldwide”.
Now, a month later, an estimated 400-500 employees in that same office have done exactly the same following the news that an additional 200 colleagues have been laid off.
Google strikes, protests, and layoffs
Now, Syndicom claims (opens in new tab) that Google has dismissed workers’ requests and proposals to reduce and prevent layoffs.
According to the workers’ union, 2,500 employees from Google’s Zurich campus alone offered to reduce working hours voluntarily in a bid to save the roles of many workers that were likely to face future redundancies.
It also says that “the employee representation committee, together with the Syndicom union, are now in talks with Google to negotiate an extended social plan.”
Clearly, workers are most outraged about Google’s lack of transparency around redundancies despite making billions in profits.
According to layoffs.fyi (opens in new tab), which has been tracking redundancies across the industry, Google has announced the largest headcount reduction in one go, by 12,000, in January, though this only represents 6% of the company’s workforce with other companies more than doubling this percentage.
Google has come under scrutiny in other territories, too, with workers in its Cloud division based in five office spaces across Kirkland, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Sunnyvale all challenging the company’s recent decision to enforce a desk-sharing policy as it seeks to cut costs.