Tech behemoth Google has faced a global strike by its staff amid allegations that complaints of sexual misconduct within its senior ranks were hushed up.
Often labelled one of the world’s most desirable employers, with hundreds of applications for every vacancy, workers in its various offices around the world walked off the job on Thursday (1 November) in protest against the perceived mishandling of complaints.
Sydney staff followed their international colleagues’ lead and walked out on Friday (2 November). As the mass walkout took hold, the hashtag #GoogleWalkout began trending on Twitter.
Google issued a brief statement from its CEO, Sundar Pichai, acknowledging the situation.
“Earlier this week, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for today and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate,” he said.
“Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”
According to the ABC, the industrial action was staged as retaliation for perceived leniency granted to Google executive accused of sexual misconduct.
It was sparked following a New York Times article published last week under the heading “How Google protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’”, in which the paper claimed he was paid $90 million while allegations of misconduct against him were hushed up.
Mr Rubin took to Twitter to vehemently deny the allegations raised against him.
“The New York Times story contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation. Specifically, I never coerced a woman to have sex in a hotel room,” he tweeted on his personal account.
“These false allegations are part of a smear campaign to disparage me during a divorce and custody battle. Also, I am deeply troubled that anonymous Google executives are commenting about my personnel file and misrepresenting the facts.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.