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Google staff stage global walkouts over handling of harassment complaints

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Google staff stage global walkouts over handling of harassment complaints

Workers stand outside the Google offices in Dublin in protest
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Workers stand outside the Google offices after walking out as part of a global protest over workplace issues in Dublin - REUTERS
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Google employees around the world are staging a series of walkouts in protest at the company's handling of harassment cases, pay inequality, and unchecked executive power in the workplace.

The walkouts involve staff at offices in Dublin, Zurich, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Singapore.

Google Walkout For Real Change, the moniker used by disgruntled workers, tweeted the five things where staff want to see change.

Google Walkout For Real Change posted staff reasons for protesting

The demonstrations follow a New York Times report last week that said Google gave a $90 million exit package to Andy Rubin in 2014, after the then-senior vice president was accused of sexual harassment.

Mr Rubin denied the allegation in the story, which he also said contained “wild exaggerations” about his compensation. Google did not dispute the report, according to Reuters.

In response to the protests, a Google spokesperson sent the following statement to Euronews from CEO Sundar Pichai: "Yesterday, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate.

"Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action,” she said.

Pictures posted of protests outside Google's Dublin offices

An employee at Google's Dublin office, who wished to remain anonymous, said to Euronews:

"On a personal note: I am shocked and am still processing this. I am convinced our leaders feel the same. Hope this will ultimately make our company better."

The Dublin-based employee also shared an article with Euronews, pointing us to an article in THE CUT, written by the organisers of the walkouts, for more background context.

In it, the organisers said "there are thousands of us, at every level of the company. And we've had enough".

The organisers said that nearly two thirds of Google's global offices are involved in the walkout, demanding change - after advocating for it for years.

Google employees have been sharing pictures on social media of the various protests.

Hundreds of people can be seen outside of Google's offices in Dublin - and in Zurich.

Protests outside Google's Zurich office today

The organisers also said in The Cut article that all protesters are "united in calling for the changes" - and added that a company is "nothing without its workers".