UPDATED 21:20 EDT / DECEMBER 03 2019

1_fgvs0vcnyjaipt43tx5yiw POLICY

Fired workers accuse Google of unfair labor practices

Four engineers recently filed by Google said Tuesday they’re planning to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, saying the company is trying to quash internal activism.

The employees (three pictured) were let go just before the Thanksgiving holiday. All of them had been involved in some way with protests relating to certain Google projects. Those included the project with the Pentagon to supply artificial intelligence to go through drone footage and the development of a Chinese search engine, among other things.

In a memo sent to staff, which was obtained by Bloomberg, the company said the fired employees had shared information outside Google. They were accused of “systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work” and then allegedly sharing what they found externally. Some Googlers, said the memo, were concerned about this and requested to be moved.

“It’s not about us, but intimidating everyone else,” one of the fired engineers told The Guardian. “They want us afraid, they want us resigned and they want us cynical.”

The four wrote a post on Medium accusing Google of being hypocritical in view of its former motto, “Don’t be evil.” They added that what has happened is union-busting under the pretext of them leaking information from the company.

“Google’s crackdown on organizers came right before the holiday, less than a week after news broke that they’d hired a notorious union-busting firm,” wrote the four. “It’s clear that their draconian, pernicious and unlawful conduct isn’t about us. It’s about trying to stop all workplace organizing. Google wants to send a message to everyone: If you dare to engage in protected labor organizing, you will be punished.”

They say they will now file charges against Google for unfair labor practices with the NLRB. U.S. labor laws protect employees if they’re determined to have been retaliated against for protesting about work conditions.

“We dismissed four individuals who were engaged in intentional and often repeated violations of our longstanding data security policies, including systematically accessing and disseminating other employees’ materials and work,” Google responded in a statement. “No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities.”

Photo: Medium

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.