Google Workers Set to Launch Worldwide Protests
Hundreds of Google employees in Asia walked off the job briefly Thursday as part of a worldwide protest of the company's handling of sexual harassment cases and its workplace culture.
Hundreds of other Google workers and contractors, most of them women, are also expected Thursday to walk out of nearly two dozen company offices around the world.
The walkouts are the latest indications of employee dissatisfaction that escalated last week after the New York Times reported the internet giant paid millions of dollars in severance pay to male executives accused of harassment without disclosing their wrongful acts.
The Times report said, for example, that Google paid $90 million in 2014 to then-senior vice president Andy Rubin after he was accused of sexual harassment. Rubin denied the allegations in the article, which Google did not dispute.
The report energized a months-long employee movement to improve treatment of women and minorities and increase diversity. The movement earlier this year included petition drives, meetings with senior executives and training from the workers' rights group Coworker.org.
Organizers demanded late Wednesday that Google parent Alphabet Inc. add a worker representative to its board of directors and internally disclose pay equity information. Employees also asked the company to revise their human resources practices to make the harassment claims filing process more equitable.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said "employees have raised constructive ideas" which the company will turn "into action."
Dissatisfaction among Alphabet's 94,000 workers and tens of thousands of contractors has not adversely affected the company's share price. But employees have said they expect Alphabet to have recruiting and retention problems if the problems are not adequately addressed.
Canada to Step Up Deportations of Undocumented Migrants
Canada’s border agency said Wednesday that it planned to increase its deportations of undocumented migrants by 10,000 a year.
These are to include not just failed refugees and asylum-seekers but those authorities regard as national security threats.
“While Canada is a humanitarian country that has welcomed many immigrants and asylum-seekers over the years, those coming to our country are expected to abide by our laws and processes,” a border agency spokesperson told the state-run Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
There is a backlog of about 18,000 migrants listed for deportation, with 5,300 so-called actionable cases, meaning there are no legal appeals or other reasons for them to stay.
Opposition conservatives call the number of asylum-seekers entering Canada through unmanned U.S. border crossings a crisis. They say the government does not take the matter seriously and has no plan.
Liberals call the border situation a challenge.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that “we are in the process of looking at how we can improve the immigration system to see how can we move rapidly. ... It is a priority for us to have an immigration system that works, and that is always what we are going to try to do.”
Many of those who seek asylum or refugee status in Canada are from Colombia, Eritrea, Haiti, Nicaragua or Turkey.