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Unions applaud London Google workers' walk out over the company's handling of sexual harassment claims

UNIONS demanded tech giant Google toughens up its act in dealing with sexual harassment claims today, as staff across the globe walked out over the issue.

Google employees protested against claims of sexual harassment, gender inequality and systemic racism that “go all the way to the top” of the transnational company.

The protest follows allegations of sexual misconduct made against senior executives published in the New York Times, which organisers say are the most high-profile examples of “thousands” of similar cases across Google.

Unite national officer for the IT sector Louisa Bull said: “We applaud the principled stand taken by Google workers in London and across the world today over how the company tackles allegations of sexual harassment.

“The employees are rightly demanding key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the tech giant, including a call to end forced arbitration — a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

“Unite the union began organising and recruiting Google staff in London six months ago and membership continues to grow.

“You can see in the last year that there is a growing wave of disgust generally, as more and more cases of sexual harassment come to light in workplaces across the globe and Unite will assist all those wishing to shine a light on such unacceptable workplace practices.”

Prospect union general secretary Mike Clancy added: “Sexual harassment is a serious problem in too many workplaces, including in the tech sector.

“The events in Google highlight the frustration many workers feel about their lack of voice in how many tech companies are run.

“We need a zero tolerance for harassment and greater transparency over terms and conditions for staff.

“The sector also needs a stronger voice for staff and we would encourage tech workers to join a union.”

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