Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Googlers Protest Retaliation; Even Some Facebook Staff Join Fray

At a dozen U.S. offices, Google employees staged sit-ins.

People walk in Google's main campus as a sit-in takes place within Google's main cafeteria in Mountain View, Calif. on May 1.

People walk in Google's main campus as a sit-in takes place within Google's main cafeteria in Mountain View, Calif. on May 1.

Photographer: Amy Osborne/AFP via Getty Images

Over the last year, workers at large technology companies have staged protests over military contracting, sexual harassment, and the treatment of temporary and contract workers. On Wednesday, activists at Google and Facebook Inc. turned their attention to what they describe as retaliation against those involved in such activism. 

At over a dozen offices of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, workers staged sit-ins, with the largest protests drawing hundreds of workers, according to people who attended. Employees told personal stories about suffering retaliation, and in some cases discussed the possibility of forming a union. At Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, an employee activist in a cowboy hat handed out flyers to passersby, while discouraging workers from talking to a reporter. In New York, the largest protest, the group posed for a photograph. The organizers then posted it on Twitter – with all the faces blurred out.