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Google discharges another employee activist: fought for the rights of workers
Hard TIMES to Google. Not only the colossus is no longer at the top of the seats to the dream job – or, better, it is still very high but just out of the top ten compiled by Glassdoor – but especially the relationships with some groups of employees are becoming more and more controversial. Especially for the weaving between the endless activity of the company, which employs over 80 thousand employees, and the policy. The giant of Mountain View has just fired another activist: this is the 21-year-old engineer Kathryn Spiers , and worked for two years in the department dedicated to the security of Chrome. According to the woman, the company would have liquidated because it would have created a system of notifications in the internal systems of the employees to inform their colleagues about their rights in the workplace. He developed this tool after the news that Google was working against the trade unions and, in general, for the allergy of the giant trade union organizations.

it is Not an isolated case: at least a year and a half, the giant is fighting a battle parallel to, and internecine, the ultimate objective – has explained a recent investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek, it would seem that silencing the fringes of the most turbulent of its workforce, and at the same time re-establish relations with the united states department of Defense. The thesis is that the giant hi-tech should recover the ground lost after a series of steps back, also linked these to the pressures of the employees. It is, in particular, of the withdrawal from the programs Maven and Jedi, the first dedicated to the use of artificial intelligence to the analysis of the images of the drones for the U.s. secret service, the second dedicated to the construction of the new cloud system of Defense: fronts spiny from which the Big G has made a step back. Not without losing positions and loans vis-à-vis the White House and the Pentagon.

Just last November, the californian group had chased four other employees, soon nicknamed the "Thanksgiving" Four, “for clear and repeated violations of the security policies on data.” An official explanation has not convinced all, knowing the subject in question, affected, according to some, for their commitment to trade union and their criticism of society, manifested through the organization of rallies and meetings with the other workers. Heated areas for the group are many. First of all, the coverage of the sexual harassment of Andy Rubin , the father of Android, expelled in 2014 by the company but settled for 90 million dollars – the details came out only years later, last fall – and that mobilized tens of thousands of employees around the world. And not only has the responsibility: other 48 people have moved away for the same reasons and he knew nothing, until communications with Sundar Pichai, recently Ceo single Alphabet. Relations with the government of Donald Trump and the technological solutions to the boundaries between Mexico and the United States, or other military activities. Still: the talks with the chinese regime for a search engine is censored and, indeed, the hostility to the protection of statutory auditors organized. Not to mention the scandals on the measures of the management to those who report the abuse – many employees have spoken of demansionamenti unjustified, bullying, diseases, forced – and the consideration for the pregnant women, which involved an employee.

“During my time at Google I have seen people go from full trust in Google, by giving the company the benefit of the doubt, the use of pretexts by the group to target the employees", explained Spires at TechCrunch, that on the Medium tells how it was promoted and the reviews on his work were all positive – the company has lost touch with the workers, and has repeatedly taken actions to reduce the trust and, as I said in my blog, a Google less transparent is a Google less reliable”.

A chaos that, last August, has pushed Mountain View to tighten the files and publish the new “community guidelines” addressed to the own employees. A severe internal document which indicates quite hard workers to keep their mouths shut on political issues or foreign to their own professional interests and limit yourself to working on the things for which they were hired. Somewhat reminiscent of the Fiat of the era of Vittorio Valletta: “you are working Here, not doing politics”. “While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps to build community, to disrupt the working day to start angry debates on politics or on the news, does not lead to the same result,” reads the guidelines. Where Big G has written that “our fundamental responsibility is to do the work for which we were hired, you do not spend work time in debates on topics that do not pertain to our jobs. More clear than that.

Spiers said he was questioned three times by his superiors before the dismissal: they wanted to understand if you would like to organize other activities or if he was going to damage the work environment. Interviews “extremely aggressive and illegal,” said the woman on Medium. “I have left to consult with anyone, not even with a lawyer, and I have pressed all the time so incriminarmi and to be able to blame any colleague with whom I had spoken of my rights in the workplace”.

Always to Techcrunch, Google has instead responded to have dismissed the employee “for abusing privileged access and have modified some of the instruments of internal security. A violation very serious.” Not only that, the vice-president for the privacy and security of infrastructure, Royal Hansen, wrote to employees explaining that Spiers had created a series of pop-up without any permission and without any justification: “The decision has nothing to do with the content, would have been the same if the message had dealt with any other topic,” wrote Hansen. The woman is obviously preparing a lawsuit against Google, claiming not only that many other employees, we changed the codes of the internal systems to share their hobby or work more easily (on the contrary, these initiatives were considered to be part of corporate culture) but also that his dismissal would have as its purpose to “suppress, Spires, and other employees from asserting their right to engage in activity that is protected and concerted”.

the Thanksgiving Four were very focused on the issues of the protection of the work: dealing with treatment-time employees and contractors of Google, of the hostility of the company by Page and Brin for trade unions, working with u.s. customs, and so on. And several other employees, as you explained, have reported in recent months in retaliation for their activities: among these, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, the organizers of the events of the autumn of 2018 against harassment. Both have subsequently left what was once the place of work the most part of the planet.

“A company which holds the personal information of billions of lives, she is frightened by the fact that its employees are aware of their rights of organization, he concluded, " Spiers – call anyone in the industry of tech not to give most the benefit of the doubt, to join trade unions and to continue to organize to protect users, the community and ourselves.”

"The Republic will fight always in defense of the freedom of information, to its readers and to all those who have at heart the principles of democracy and civil coexistence"

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