Monday 16 September 2019

Irish Google workers join worldwide walkout

Solidarity: Google workers gather outside the Dublin office. Picture: Doug O'Connor
Solidarity: Google workers gather outside the Dublin office. Picture: Doug O'Connor
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Hundreds of employees at Google's European headquarters in Dublin staged a walkout yesterday as part of a worldwide protest against sexual harassment at the company.

The action was organised after claims of sexual misconduct were made against senior Google executives.

Kate Smith, an employee at Google who helped organise the Dublin protest, told the crowd they were walking out "in solidarity with anybody who has experienced any form of sexual harassment or misconduct in our workplace".

"While I have not personally experienced any form of sexual harassment or misconduct at Google, I wish to create a space for all of us to show our support for doing whatever it takes to eliminate any such awful behaviour," she said.

Staff at the HQ in Barrow Street, Dublin, left their desks at 11am to take part in a demonstration lasting almost an hour.

They are calling for an end to pay inequality, more accountability in cases of harassment and better representation for workers.

The protests unfolded a week after a 'New York Times' story detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against Andy Rubin, the creator of Google's Android software.

The report said Rubin, who denies the claims, received a $90m (€78.9m) pay-off in 2014.

Google employs more than 7,000 staff directly and indirectly in Ireland.

Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, said management would support their staff.

He added: "Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes.

"We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action."

Irish Independent

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