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  • Google employees wrote an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai demanding better handling of layoffs.
  • They demanded that dismissed staff be notified in person, allowing them to say goodbye to their colleagues.
  • Read the letter that more than 1,400 workers have signed up for.

Google employees used an open letter to Sundar Pichai to demand better handling of his mass layoffs.

They want the company to consider freezing new hires and prioritizing laid-off workers for vacant positions, as well as letting employees complete scheduled leaves, such as parental and bereavement leave.

The letter, signed by more than 1,400 workers, said of the global layoffs: “Nowhere have the voices of workers been heard enough, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone.

Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, emailed staff Jan. 20 to say the company was cutting around 12,000 jobs and he took “full responsibility for the decisions that got us here. “.

Since then, fired Googlers have been sharing their stories of losing their jobs. A husband said he and his wife looked at each other in “disbelief” after learning they had both been made redundant. And a former Google employee told Insider he lost his job while on leave to care for his terminally ill mother.

A Googler who survived the cuts told Insider that some of those who kept their jobs wept in meetings the day the layoffs were announced.

Google and Alphabet Workers Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside of normal working hours.

Here is the text of the letter:


The impacts of Alphabet’s decision to downsize are global. Nowhere have the voices of workers been heard enough, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone. We come together around the world to be heard.

Specifically, we ask you for the following public commitments:

1) Freeze all new hires during the layoff process. First ask for voluntary departures and the voluntary reduction of working hours before forced dismissals. Allow employee “swaps” to further avoid forced layoffs.

2) Prioritize rehiring all Alphabet employees who were recently terminated. Prioritizing internal transfer options, prioritizing access to jobs without the need for re-questioning, and agreeing a fair severance package.

3) Protect our employees from countries experiencing active conflicts or humanitarian crises (such as Ukraine, Russia, etc.). Do not terminate employment when it would negatively affect visas, that could force workers to return to unsafe or unstable countries. Provide additional support to these and workers at risk of losing their residence permit: job search assistance – internal and external – and granting adequate gardening leave.

4) Respect scheduled leaves (maternity, baby bonding, caregiver and bereavement) and do not give notice until the leave is over. Notified workers will be notified in person and given the opportunity to say goodbye to their co-workers.

5) Ensure there will be no discriminatory effects based on sex, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic identity, caste, veteran status, religion and disability.

We call on you, and Alphabet more broadly, to make these essential public commitments. Our company has long touted its commitment to doing the right thing for its users and workers, and these commitments will show that Alphabet adheres to the last line of its code of conduct: Do not be evil.

We know this is within your means and your capacity to accomplish.

Do you work for Google or have ideas to share? Contact this reporter from a non-work device at Or on Twitter.

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Read the Layoff Letter Googlers Sent to Sundar Pichai: Don’t Be Mean »

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