Google employees penned an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai asking for better handling of layoffs.

The letter, signed by over 1,400 employees, listed a series of demands for better management of the company during layoffs. It suggested freezing new hires, prioritising laid-off workers for rehiring, and respecting scheduled leaves.

Sundar Pichai emailed staff on January 20, 2023, to inform them the company was cutting about 12,000 jobs.

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Noting that the impact of Alphabet’s decision to reduce its workforce is global, the employees said, “Nowhere have workers’ voices adequately been considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone. We are thus coming together across the world to be heard.”

Firstly, Google employees asked the company to freeze new hiring during the layoff process and said to ask for voluntary redundancies and voluntary working time reduction before compulsory layoffs.

Secondly, employees asked to company to prioritise laid-off employees for rehiring without re-interview and agree to a fair severance package and asked the company to consider internal transfer options.

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Thirdly, employees asked the company to protect its workers from countries facing a humanitarian crisis (such as Ukraine and Russia).

“Do not terminate employment when it would adversely affect visas, which could require workers to return to unsafe or unstable countries. Provide extra support to these and workers at risk of residence permit loss,” the letter quoted.

Employees then asked the company to respect scheduled leaves and serve notice after the said period so that the employees will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their coworkers. 

Lastly, employees asked the company to ensure that there will be no discriminatory effects based on sex, gender, age, and ethnic identity.

“Our company has long touted its commitment to doing right by its users and workers, and these commitments will show Alphabet adhering to the final line of its Code of Conduct: Don’t Be Evil,” they added.

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