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Google Employees in Zurich Walk Out to Protest Company's Job Cuts

16, February 2023: Around 250 Google employees in Zurich walked out of the office to protest the company’s decision to cut its workforce by 6 percent, resulting in thousands of layoffs. This is not the first time that Google employees have protested against their employer's decisions, but it is rare for workers from tech companies to stage a walkout.

The employees in Zurich were supported by their trade union Syndicom, and they assembled with placards outside one of the two Google offices in the Swiss city.



The protesting workers called on Google to engage in dialogue with an employee committee as dictated by Swiss law about alternatives to job cuts. They also demanded support for foreign nationals whose residency is tied to their employment and sought a commitment from the company to refrain from further job cuts.

The protest comes after similar demonstrations in New York and California earlier this month over job cuts. The layoffs are part of Google's parent company Alphabet's plans to lay off more than 12,000 employees as it scales back operations amid a weakening global economy and rising inflation. The 250 protesters represented a small proportion of Google’s approximately 5,000 Zurich-based employees.

Google's spokesperson told Bloomberg that they know this is an uncertain time for their employees and they are working hard to share updates as soon as they can in line with local labor law. However, given the ongoing process, they are not in a position to comment further on the matter.

The employee walkouts and protests highlight the growing tensions between tech companies and their employees, who are increasingly demanding better working conditions, fair pay, and a voice in company decisions. This is not the first time that Google employees have protested against their employer's decisions, and it is unlikely to be the last.

The protests also raise questions about the role of big tech companies in society and the impact of their decisions on their employees and the wider community. With the increasing power and influence of these companies, it is essential that they take into account the needs and interests of their employees and the communities in which they operate.

In conclusion, the protest by Google employees in Zurich is a significant development in the ongoing struggle between tech companies and their employees. It highlights the growing demand for fair treatment, better working conditions, and a voice in company decisions. As tech companies continue to grow in power and influence, it is crucial that they take into account the needs and interests of their employees and the wider community.

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