Google is still under scrutiny by current and former employees. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, four Google employees were fired for allegedly violating the company’s data-security policies, Business Insider reports.
Google told Business Insider that four employees were terminated due to sharing sensitive information to people outside of the company intentionally and repeatedly.
While the employees that the spokesperson referred to were not named, the most recently fired employees say they were fired “for attempting to organize a union,” claiming that Google is trying to stop workers from organizing. “Google wants to send a message to everyone: if you dare to engage in protected labor organizing, you will be punished,” the employees said in a statement that was released late last month.
As a result, those workers are filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, and expect an investigation.
More Trouble Is Brewing
These firings are the latest layer of conflict at the tech giant, with employees revealing more instances of employee mistreatment. The tension is growing from constant contradictions in Google’s historically open culture among employees, where they “have historically been encouraged to speak critically about the company’s practices and keep tabs on its operations,” Business Insider says.
Based on certain examples, it seems like Google is trying to keep employees quiet and in line, such as by hiring a consulting firm that is “known for anti-union efforts.” Plus, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company was cutting back on its town hall-style meetings, which was a longstanding tradition that enabled employees to ask the company’s leadership questions. According to an internal email written by Pichai, Google was minimizing these types of meetings due to an increased effort to share their conversations outside company walls.
However, it doesn’t seem like Google employees – current and former – agree. The employees that were recently let go said that that Google’s traditionally open culture is taking a turn, and that the tech company might not be the best place to work after all. “They count on the fear, the sadness, and the anger that we are all feeling to stop us all from exercising our rights, and to chill all attempts to hold one of the most powerful organizations in history accountable for its actions,” the former employees wrote.