Google employees write open letter to Sundar Pichai on job cuts What do they ask?

Nearly 1,400 employees of Google parent Alphabet Inc have signed a petition calling for better treatment of employees during the layoff process, after the company announced 12,000 job cuts.

In an open letter addressed to Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, the employees laid out a number of demands for the company, including a freeze on new hires, seeking voluntary redundancies ahead of mandatory ones, prioritizing laid-off employees for job vacancies, and retraining workers. including allowing the prescribed period to expire. Paid leave, such as parental and bereavement leave.

Activists also called on Alphabet to avoid terminating employees from countries with active conflicts or humanitarian crises, such as Ukraine, and provide additional support to those at risk of losing their jobs as well as visa-linked residency.

“The implications of Alphabet’s decision to reduce its workforce are global,” the letter said.

The petition follows Alphabet’s announcement in January that it would cut about 6% of its workforce following pressure from investors to reduce spending in the post-pandemic downturn. Meta Platforms Inc., Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are among other tech giants that have slashed workforces in recent months after years of growth and hiring.

A spokeswoman for Alphabet did not immediately comment on the petition. When Pichai announced the job cuts on January 20, he said in an email to employees that the company had hired for a “different economic reality than today” and that he took “full responsibility”.

Although some Google employees, especially in the US, lost their jobs immediately, the process has been much slower than in Europe, countries with generally stronger labor protections. For example, Googlers in Switzerland only learned which employees were cut this week, triggering a walkout on Wednesday.

The letter was organized by a group of workers supported by unions including the Alphabet Workers Union, United Tech and Allied Workers and UNI Global. It was born out of a discussion via a Discord channel set up after the job cuts were announced.

Labor groups have helped organize several petitions regarding layoffs at various units of Google and in the various countries where it is present.

Some of the people who signed the petition told Bloomberg they are concerned that the consultation process required by law in some countries has become a box-ticking exercise. They said feedback from employees to management, including survey results where people expressed interest in volunteering for redundancy or reduced hours, has not been taken into account.

The employees plan to circulate the petition for a few more days before presenting a physical copy to Pichai at Google’s headquarters in California.

The text of this story is published from a wire agency feed without any modification. Only the headline has been changed.

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