For immediate release
If we had a say, this wouldn’t have happened: Reflecting on the #GoogleWalkout lawsuits
We welcome today’s shareholder lawsuits, and are grateful to those who brought them. Among other things, the lawsuits claim that by covering for and rewarding known sexual abusers such as Andy Rubin and Amit Singhal, Google’s Board of Directors and others in Google leadership abdicated their fiduciary duty to Google as a whole and weakened the company by driving away qualified employees.
We agree. Anyone who enables abuse, harassment and discrimination must be held accountable, and those with the most power have the most to account for.
But the problems we face aren’t limited to coverups and an abdication of fiduciary duty. Google’s culture of racism, discrimination, and sexual harassment is not the result of a few individual bad actors — it’s built into how the system works, and won’t be fixed without structural change.
Currently, a small group of mostly white and male executives makes decisions that profoundly impact workers and the world beyond, with very little accountability. The lawsuits detail this behavior in action, and the past year provided many examples of the human collateral damage of such self-serving and unaccountable leadership. This needs to change. And to change it those most at risk must be given a voice in decision making, and a seat at the table. When we walked out with twenty thousand colleagues in November, we included worker representation on the Board of Directors among our demands for this reason.
We have all the evidence we need that Google’s leadership does not have our best interests at heart. We need to change the way the system works, above and beyond addressing the wrongs of those who work within the system. It is time for oversight, accountability, and for workers to truly have a say in decisions that affect their lives and the world around them.