Google firing the ‘Thanksgiving Four’ backfires spectacularly

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Google says the four violated security policies; the Tech Workers Coalition says this is a case of union-busting meant to scare workers

People pass by an entrance to Google offices in New York, U.S., June 4, 2019. Picture: REUTERS / BRENDAN MCDERMIDGoogle fired four employees on the grounds that they had violated data security policies, but the tech titan was accused of persecuting them for trying to unionise staff.

Google, the money-making engine of parent company Alphabet, confirmed a copy of the note published by Bloomberg News but declined to comment further to AFP. One of the workers fired was connected to a petition condemning Google for working with the US customs and border patrol agency, which has been involved in President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

Authors of the post contended that Google policies on data security were tightened simply to provide cover for getting rid of the workers. “This is classic union-busting dressed up in tech industry jargon, and we won’t stand for it,” they said.The Google workplace has been disrupted by employee opposition to top-level decisions ranging from forging contracts with the US military to tailoring a version of the search engine for China.

Jeffrey Hirsch, a University of North Carolina law professor and former US National Labor Relations Board attorney, said Google could face legal problems unless it could show a consistent approach towards other staff accused of the same conduct as the four. “If not, Google will likely have to reinstate the employees and pay them back pay,” he told Bloomberg.


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