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USA: Google asked govt. to narrow legal protection for workers organising online; inc. company comments

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24 January 2019

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

Author: Josh Eidelson, Hassan Kanu & Mark Bergen, Bloomberg

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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24 January 2019

Google Walkout for Real Change says if protections are rolled back, company will be complicit in limiting workers' rights

Author: Google Walkout for Real Change

In an email to all of Google, Sundar assured us that he and Google's leadership supported the Walkout. But the company's requests to the National Labor Relations Board tell a different story, showing that Google would rather pay lawyers to change national labor law than do what's right. Google is aiming to silence us at a time when our voices are more essential than ever: from Maven, to Dragonfly, to the Walkout, collective action and worker organizing has helped check unethical and selfish executive decision making, where "official channels" continually failed. If these protections are rolled back, Google will be complicit in limiting the rights of working people across the United States, not just us. We will continue to stand up for justice, equity, and a safe workplace, in solidarity with all workers.

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