Google employees have continuously pressed the company to meet their demands amid protests, and the group is now hoping to find an ally in Alphabet CEO Larry Page.
In a newly published list of demands regarding the recent retaliations by the tech giant against some employee protesters, the Google Walkout For Real Change group called on Page “to immediately and publicly address the Walkout’s demands, and recommit Google to meeting them.”
The post, titled “#NotOkGoogle: Demands Regarding Retaliation,” goes on to note Page’s ability to make real changes at the company. The letter explains that because the CEO “controls Alphabet’s board and has the individual authority to make changes,” he can launch an overhaul of the current harassment and retaliation issues, unlike other board members.
As Google’s co-founder and a longtime executive at both Google and parent company Alphabet, Page stands as a powerful voice at the company’s helm.
The plea for Page’s involvement comes after months of worker protests against the mishandling of sexual harassment incidents, along with retaliation against those who report it, including the demotion and modifications of roles that female employees who reported harassment held. Of course, any retribution has been refuted by Google, which said in a statement that the company prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. “Employees and teams are regularly and commonly given new assignments, or reorganized, to keep pace with evolving business needs. There has been no retaliation here.”
The call to action directed at Page also comes during a time when Alphabet’s executive board is seeing major shakeups, including the stepping down of longtime executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene.
The Google Walkouts group’s letter is also requesting for independent investigations into the aforementioned cases, in which human resources will not be involved. “Google’s HR department is broken. Over and over again it prioritizes the company and the reputation of abusers and harassers over their victims,” the demand states.
Overall, the activist group hopes that Google will meet their demands for a more transparent, open HR department before things return to normal.