On November 1, 20,000 Google employees and contractors walked out of the company’s offices around the world, one week after the New York Times reported that Google had protected three executives accused of sexual misconduct, including Android founder Andy Rubin.
But the protests were about more than just how Google handles harassment. And Google executives have neglected to even talk about some of the five demands that the workers presented in conjunction with the walkouts.
“They did not ever address, acknowledge, the list of demands, nor did they adequately provide solutions to all the five,” said Stapleton, a marketing manager at YouTube who has been at Google for more than 11 years. “They did drop forced arbitration, but for sexual harassment only, not discrimination, which was a key omission. Nothing was addressed regarding TVCs [contract workers] … I think we didn’t see accountability in action.”
And the walkouts, the organizers agreed, have in some cases turned strangers into allies. People who had been raising red flags for years and felt they weren’t being heard suddenly realized that they were not the only ones who thought Google wasn’t hearing what it needed to hear.