Dozens of disgruntled Google workers gathered outside company buildings in New York and California this week to protest the tech giant’s recent layoffs and low pay for contractors.
About 50 Google employees participated in a Thursday protest that took place outside a company store in Manhattan located near its corporate offices, Bloomberg reported.
A separate protest that took place outside Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California, on Wednesday focused on alleged poor work conditions for company subcontractors.
The protests occurred days after Google laid off about 12,000 staffers, or 6% of its overall workforce, in what was the largest round of cuts in company history.
The rallies coincided with the release of fourth-quarter results showing Google parent Alphabet booked $13.62 billion in profit on $76.05 billion in revenue – numbers that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations but were held up by protestors as a sign that job cuts were unnecessary.
“Today, Google has debunked its own rationale for laying off 12,000 of our co-workers,” software engineer and union member Alberta Devor said in a statement. “Our colleagues did not need to lose their livelihoods.”
The workers said they are subjected to “poverty wages and no benefits” while handling tasks related to Google’s AI efforts and content moderation, according to Bloomberg. Both events were organized by Alphabet Workers Union, a group that boasts more than 1,200 members and includes both full-time employees and contractors.
“It is clear that the menial savings the company is pocketing from laying off workers is nothing in comparison to the billions spent on stock buybacks or the billions made in profit last quarter,” Devor added.
Google has faced criticism over its handling of the cuts, with some impacted workers learning they were out of a job through early-morning emails or by reading news stories about the plans.
Many laid-off workers have aired their grievances in interviews or through scathing social media posts. One former employee said she was laid off while on mental health leave, while another said he found out after receiving an email at 2 a.m. while feeding his infant daughter.
The Google cuts impacted longtime company veterans and top performers – with one furious ex-staffer stating that tech giants treat their employees as “100% disposable.”
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai framed the cost-cutting push as necessary to prepare the company for adverse market conditions. Google joined several other major firms, including Amazon and Microsoft, that have slashed jobs during a recent tech sector meltdown.
The Post has reached out to Google for comment.