From CNET: On the heels of Google laying off 12,000 employees in January, a series of protests took place last week in New York, California and Texas that showed mounting worker unrest.
Google's raters, who evaluate the quality of search and ads, submitted a petition Wednesday at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, that demands better pay. The following day, a protest took place outside Google's offices in New York criticizing the search giant over mass layoffs. Capping off the work week on Friday, more than 40 YouTube Music workers with Cognizant, a company that contracts under YouTube owner and Google parent Alphabet, went on strike in Austin, Texas, over a new return-to-office policy.
These mark the latest incidents in a series of contentious issues between the search giant and its workers over recent years. In 2018, more than 20,000 workers walked out of 50 offices to protest the company's handling of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. The next year, protests took place at the company's San Francisco office condemning management for retaliating against two activist workers. Google also fired employees who engaged in workplace activism or who questioned its AI systems, including prominent AI researchers Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Ariel Koren, a worker who denounced the company's dealings with Israel, was abruptly told to relocate to Brazil in March 2022. She ultimately decided to leave the company.
Google didn't respond to a request for comment about the recent employee actions. The Alphabet Workers Union, which represents the YouTube Music employees in Austin and is part of the Communications Workers of America, referred to its press releases when asked for comment.
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