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Google workers hold protests against mass layoffs and staff conditions minutes after $13 billion profit is revealed

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Google staff have held protests over mass layoffs at the tech giant and highlighted the poor pay and benefits for subcontracted staff.

The two-day rally started on Wednesday, February 1, at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The rally was followed by employees protesting near Google's corporate offices in New York City.

READ MORE: GOOGLE CEO SUNDAR PICHAI SAYS JOB CUTS PREVENTED ‘MUCH WORSE’ ISSUES

The protests come after Google made its largest-ever workforce reduction by eliminating 12,000 jobs or six percent of headcounts.

In the past month, several Big Tech companies, including Microsoft, Salesforce, and Amazon, have announced huge layoffs.

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Nearly 50 members of Google staff joined the protest in New York, which was outside a Google store on Ninth Avenue.

It started just minutes after Alphabet released fourth-quarter earnings, which revealed $13.6 billion in profit.

READ MORE: GOOGLE PARENT ALPHABET TO LAY OFF 12,000 STAFF

A software engineer, Alberta Devor, said: “Today, Google has debunked its own rationale for laying off 12,000 of our co-workers.

“It is clear that the menial savings the company is pocketing from laying off workers is nothing in comparison to the billions spent on stock buybacks or the billions made in profit last quarter.”

The trade union Alphabet Workers Union coordinated both demonstrations.

It is a “minority union” with no collective bargaining rights, and its members include Google subcontractors and employees.

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Devor said: “Today shows that some of the issues we’re talking about affect all workers regardless of what their actual job title or job status is.”

Dozens of subcontractors called out Google’s substandard conditions, including “poverty wages and no benefits,” at Wednesday’s rally.

They review content to help train AI-powered algorithms, screen YouTube clips, and search for offensive or sensitive content in ads. 

The workers claim their salary and benefits are substantially below Google’s minimum standards and benefits for its direct contract workers.

Source: Bloomberg

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