Organisers of the successful Google employee walkout are now calling on the rest of the tech industry to take up their cause

Katie Canales/Business Insider
  • On Monday, some of the original organisers for Google’s November walkout demanded an end to forced arbitration.
  • Forced arbitration is a corporate practice whereby upon their hiring, employees waive their right to take any kinds of labour disputes to court, and instead must settle the matters privately.
  • Organisers say Google’s initial response to their demands of ending forced arbitration fell short, as it did not include discrimination cases or cases involving contract workers.
  • The group of more than 20 Google employees is also calling on workers from the broader tech community to join their coalition against forded arbitration.

This November, thousands of Google employees and contractors around the world walked out in protest of how the company has handled matters of discrimination and sexual misconduct.

On Monday, some of the original organisers of that Google walkout came out to demand an end to forced arbitration in the tech industry, a common practice whereby employees are required to settle any kind of labour disputes privately, by way a company-appointed third party, and not in a court of law.

The employees are demanding that Google end its arbitration policy for all work-related cases, including cases of discrimination, and for the new policy to extend to TVCs – Google’s term for long- and short-term contract workers.

Organisers say ending forced arbitration for all employees was the first demand of the original walkout, though they contend that Google’s response was insufficient. Google said it would begin allowing arbitration for sexual harassment and assault cases for full-time employees only.

The group – which consists of more than 20 current Google employees – is also calling on employees from the broader tech community to join their coalition.

“20,000 Googlers walking out of work was the first moment in an escalating movement,” the letter read. “Since then, we’ve heard from tech workers at 15+ other major tech companies about their experiences. We vow to fight together in 2019 until forced arbitration is abolished for all our FTE and TVC colleagues.”

The demands on Monday call for an end to arbitration for all employees and for all forms of labour disputes, including discrimination cases.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider.

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