With support from Syndicom, a trade union, about 250 employees from Google’s Zurich office walked out in protest of the recent layoffs.
In January, the tech giant had revealed its plans to axe six per cent of its jobs, globally, causing about 12,000 employees to be rendered jobless.
The disgruntled employees left their workstations before lunch hour and gathered holding placards outside a Google office in Zurich. The 5,000-strong workforce in Switzerland are seeking an assurance from Google that no more jobs will be axed.
It is reported that the employees have also been wishing to hold talks regarding job alternatives and support for foreigners working for the company, in accordance with Swiss Law.
Googlers in New York and California have also made their disapproval about the layoffs known via protests. Most of the protests in the US were organised by the Alphabet Workers Union, a labour group whose members include both Google employees and subcontractors.
At one of the protest rallies, subcontractors expressed their thoughts about what they saw as inadequate work conditions, including low wages and dearth of benefits. These workers, who are involved in reviewing content to train the company’s AI algorithms and screening YouTube clips and ads for offensive material, claimed that their pay and benefits were way below Google’s own minimum standards and benefits for direct contract workers.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Google CEO had never really denied the possibility of layoffs. In fact, last year, he had stated that in an endeavour to make Google 20 per cent more efficient, the tech major may have to resort to job cuts.