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Google urged the U.S. to limit protection for activist workers

Author: Josh Eidelson, Hassan Kanu & Mark Bergen, Bloomberg, Published on: 24 January 2019

Google... has been quietly urging the U.S. government to narrow legal protection for workers organizing online...  In filings in May 2017 and November 2018... Alphabet Inc.’s Google urged the National Labor Relations Board to undo... the National Labor Relations Board['s decision]... to broaden employees’ rights to use their workplace email system to organize around issues on the job... during the Obama Administration... In an emailed statement, a Google spokeswoman said, "We're not lobbying for changes to any rules." Rather, she said, Google's claim that the Obama-era protections should be overturned was "a legal defense that we included as one of many possible defenses" against meritless claims at the NLRB.

... If the Labor Board did what Google wanted, “it would have a huge chilling effect,” said Google employee activist Colin McMillen, one of tens of thousands around the world who participated in a November walkout following revelations about the company’s handling of alleged sexual misconduct... company email is key to facilitating workers’ ability to mobilize... “Google is one of the most open workplaces in the world," the company’s spokeswoman said. "Employees have multiple internal forums to express their views, raise concerns and connect, including thousands of internal communities and tens of thousands of email groups.”

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