Google staff stage worldwide walkout

Former Google executive Andy Rubin was credibly accused of "coercing" a colleague into oral sex. Google believed the victim and quietly forced Rubin out with a $90m payoff, according to a bombshell story in The New York Times. Staff at Google offices worldwide walked out in protest today.

The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration - a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.

"I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel," he said in an all-staff email. "I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too."

Remember James Damore and his fable of totalitarian feminism at Google? It will always be more real to those guys than any of this. Read the rest

An interactive map of China's wildcat strikes

China's move into a "mixed economy" has created a wealth inequality crisis to rival any nation's; wildcat workers' strikes (aided by Young Communist movements) have become increasingly common, though they are not often reported in the news (it helps that Chinese state media and the country's official censors suppress these reports). Read the rest

How trade unions are addressing automation

The first wave of computerized automation caught trade unions flat-footed; already reeling from the Reagan-era attacks on labor, union leadership failed completely to come up with a coherent response to the automation of manufacturing industries (a notable exception was the longshoremans' union, which ensured that containerization led to massive pay raises and generous retirements for the workers whose work was largely eliminated by better shipping techniques). Read the rest

Leak shows Google lied when it claimed it wasn't near launching its censored Chinese search tool

When Google employees discovered last August to their horror that the company had been secretly working on a censored search engine ("Project Dragonfly) for use in China, the company assured them that this was only an early-stage prototype and nowhere near launching. Read the rest

Victory! Google will not bid on $10B Pentagon cloud computing contract

When Google's engineering staff staged an uprising over the company's "Project Maven" to supply AI tools for the Pentagon's secretive drone-based killing program, many observed that the project was just a prelude to bidding on JEDI, the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, a $10B project to supply cloud services to the entire US military. Read the rest

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Tech workers are in demand: companies find it easier to raise cash than to hire engineers; this gives workers enormous bargaining power, and they're using it. Read the rest

Amazon eliminating monthly bonuses & stock awards to help pay new raises for warehouse workers

Amazon is eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers and other hourly employees, apparently to help pay for raises. The internet retail giant pledged earlier this week to raise pay to at least $15 an hour. Read the rest

Amazon will raise its minimum wage for employees to $15 (what about contractors?)

First, Disney announced that all its salaried workers would get a raise to $15/hour (with more raises to come); then Bernie Sanders announced legislation named after Jeff Bezos that would send companies an invoice for any food, housing or other subsidy their sub-starvation-wage employees received. Read the rest

The Big Lie: how polygraph companies convinced the US government to use pseudoscience on job applicants

Lie detectors don't work: that's why they're not admissible as legal evidence and why it's illegal to subject private sector job-applicants to polygraph tests. Read the rest

Chinese students, made to study Communism, are rising up for workers' rights

In 1989, the Chinese government slaughtered pro-democracy student activists whose commitment to justice swept the nation; now they're facing a new student uprising, one comprised of ardent Communist youth whose state-mandated education in the works of Marx, Lenin and Mao have prompted them to stand up for oppressed workers who labor in the for-profit factories that have flourished since the Deng reforms. Read the rest

"Like Lord of the Flies": working at the TSA really sucks

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Detailed look at Google's secret, censored, spying Chinese search tool

Jack Poulson is one of several googlers to quit the company over Project Dragonfly, the company's secret plan to launch a Chinese search tool that will incorporate state surveillance and censorship on behalf of China's authoritarian government. Read the rest

Leaked video reveals Amazon's union-busting playbook

As the tide of public opinion turns against monopolism, Amazon has become the poster child for irredeemable, late-stage capitalism; the company's ham-fisted attempts to burnish its reputation have not stemmed the tide. Read the rest

#MeToo meets the #FightFor15 as McDonald's workers walk out over sexual harassment

McDonald's workers in ten US cities staged a mass walkout last week, demanding that the company take action on the rampant sexual abuse and harassment in its franchisees' stores; as the workers pointed out, the company surveils and controls their every move on-shift down to the minutest detail, but can't seem to find any way to chase down reports that women are being groped and then fired if they refuse to perform sexual acts on their supervisors. Read the rest

Exploring the ruins of a Toys R Us, discovering a trove of sensitive employee data

When the private equity raiders who took over Toys R Us, saddled it up with debt, extracted $200,000,000 and then crashed it, they took the employee severance fund with them, but that wasn't the final indignity the titans of finance inflicted on the workforce before turning them out on the unemployment line. Read the rest

More googlers are quitting over the company's plan to launch a censored, surveilling search product in China

The revelation that Google had been secretly creating a censored, surveilling search product (codenamed Project Dragonfly) in order to re-enter the Chinese market prompted more than 1,000 googlers to sign a letter of protest and a high-ranking resignation from the one of company's top scientists. Read the rest

Google's censored Chinese search engine links every search to the user's phone number

Google's Project Dragonfly was a secret prototype search engine intended to pave the way for the company's return to China; it featured censored search results that complied with Chinese state rules banning searches for topics like "human rights," "student protest" and "Nobel prize." Read the rest

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