google walkout

Google employees in Toronto stage mass walkout as part of global protest

Thousands of Google employees around the world are walking off the job today in protest of how the tech juggernaut handles sexual harassment in the workplace.

The mass demonstrations were planned in response to a New York Times investigation, published last week, that revealed Google had paid out millions of dollars in exit money to executives accused of sexual misconduct.

Further to the payoffs, Google is said to have kept the allegations quiet by telling victims not to talk about what happened.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in a memo last week that the company had taken a much harder hard line on inappropriate workplace conduct recently and that 48 people had been fired — without exit packages — over the past two years.

It wasn't enough to placate many furious members of the company's 94,000-person-strong work force.

From New York to Berlin to Singapore to Tokyo, employees have already have walked out of Google offices across the globe. All of the walkouts began at 11:01 a.m. local time.

In Toronto, more than 100 employees gathered outside the company's office on Richmond Street, despite the rain and cold, to make their voices heard.

Their demands are consistent with those of other Google employees internationally, and include such measures as a commitment to end pay inequity, a clear and safe way to report incidences of sexual misconduct at work, and an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.

Pichai, for his part, has expressed support for workers participating in the walkout.

"We let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate," said the CEO in a statement on Wednesday. 

"Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward," he continued. "We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action."

Lead photo by

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