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Google employees in San Francisco join worldwide walkout to protest sexual harassment

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-11-02 09:37
Google employees stage a "women's walkout" at their Googleplex offices in protest over the company's handling of a large payout to Android chief Andy Rubin as well as concerns over several other managers who had allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct at the company in Mountain View, California, US, on Nov 1, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

SAN FRANCISCO - More than 1,000 Google employees in San Francisco Thursday joined global walkout in the city's downtown area to protest workplace sexual harassment at the world's top internet company.

The demonstrators gathered at San Francisco's major tourist neighborhood at the waterfront Embarcadero in the northern part of the city, holding placards that read "Don't Be Evil" and "#Times Up Google," and called more greater respect for women and women's right.

The walkouts followed a recent New York Times report alleging that Andy Rubin, creator of the Android mobile operating system and former executive in charge of the Android software department at Google was forced to resign for sexual misconduct with a severance package of 90 million US dollars.

Rubin was accused of forcing a female subordinate to have sex with him and probed for sexual misconduct at Google.

However, Rubin denied the allegations this month and slammed New York Times on Twitter for containing "inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation." He called the allegations "a smear campaign."

On Oct 25, Google admitted it had fired 48 employees for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above, in the last two years.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said none of those individuals who were terminated received an exit package after Google took a tougher line toward its employees accused of sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct.

During Thursday's rally, the Google employees called for an end to sexual harassment and pay inequity at the company.

On the Mountain View campus at Google's headquarters in northern California, hundreds of employees also staged a walkout to express their discontent about Google's lax handling of sexual harassment at the company.

The protesters said they've heard stories of sexual exploitation for a long time and wanted to see actions taken along with real changes at their workplace.

The global walkout attracted thousands of employees at Google offices across Asia, Europe and North America to protest sexism and urge respect for women in major cities including San Francisco, Berlin, London, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Tokyo and Hyderabad, India.

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