- Google employees and shareholders are planning to stage a demonstration outside of the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
- The protests are to show support for proposals shareholders will vote on regarding sexual harassment and diversity policies at Google and parent-company Alphabet.
- The demonstrations would follow similar high profile protests at Amazon and Facebook’s annual meetings.
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Several hundred activists and Google employees are expected to crash the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, to call attention to the company’s policies on sexual harassment, diversity efforts and other issues, according to a CNBC report.
The report says that the protesters, a mix of Google employees and shareholders, are planning a demonstration outside of the building in Sunnyvale, Calif where the shareholder meeting will take place. Google, and parent company Alphabet, would be the latest large tech company to be hit with protests during their shareholder meetings this year, following similar demonstrations at Amazon and Facebook.
According to CNBC, the protest organizers expect a “few hundred” people at the shareholder meeting, though they also noted they’re not clear exactly how many will show up.
Alphabet has experienced a particularly turbulent year, with a high-profile employee walkout in November over the company’s much-criticized handling of sexual misconduct cases. The company has also faced criticism over plans to create a censored search engine for people in China, and for a contract, now abandoned, to provide its AI technology to the US military.
Alphabet shareholders have submitted 13 separate proposals to be voted on by stockholders at the meeting on Wednesday. One of the proposals asks Google to not engage in any “inequitable employment practices,” which it defines as mandatory arbitration agreements, non-compete clauses and non-disclosure agreements.
Google opposes the proposal and notes that it stopped requiring arbitration for employment disputes such as sexual harassment and assault in November.
Other proposals, all of which are opposed by Google, include conducting a review of the impact to human rights of offering censored search in China, appointing an employee representative to board of directors and conducting a public report on gender pay differences.
None of the proposals have any chance of passing, given that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin control roughly 51% of the voting power thanks to a special class of supervoting shares. But a strong show of support among independent shareholders could increase public pressure on the company to make changes.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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