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Google's Dublin employees stage walkout over company's treatment of women

Last week Google said it had fired 48 employees in the past two years as a result of sexual harassment allegations.

Updated Nov 1st 2018, 11:52 AM

File Photo Google has been fined a record €4.34bn ($5bn; £3.9bn) over Android. The European Commission said the firm had used the mobile operating system to illegally cement its dominant position in general internet search. End. Google's headquarters in Dublin. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

EMPLOYEES AT GOOGLE offices around the world are due to stage a series of walkouts today in protest at the company’s treatment of women.

Staff members from Google’s Dublin office, the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters, took part in a walkout for about 30 minutes this morning. 

Google employs over 7,000 staff directly and indirectly in Ireland. Hundreds of people attended the walkout, which started shortly after 11am.

In a statement, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said employees have been told they “will have the support they need if they wish to participate” in the protests.

“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.”

Last week Google said it had fired 48 employees in the past two years — including 13 senior executives — as a result of sexual harassment allegations, citing “an increasingly hard line” on inappropriate conduct.

$90 million settlement 

The US tech giant issued a statement from Pichai in response to a New York Times report that one senior Google employee, Android creator Andy Rubin, received an exit package worth $90 million (about €79 million) as he faced allegations of misconduct, and that Google had covered up other claims of sexual harassment.

In response to requests for comment, Google released an email sent to employees from Pichai which stated: “In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority,” Pichai said.

He added that the report on Rubin and others was “difficult to read” but he did not directly address the claims in the article.

We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace. We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, rejected the allegations against him in a statement to AFP, saying Rubin left Google of his own accord to launch venture capital firm and technology incubator Playground.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2018 

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Órla Ryan

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