Zurich: Google workers stage walk out after layoff of 200 colleagues


Hundreds of Google workers walked out of its Zurich office Wednesday in protest over mass layoffs that resulted in about 200 people losing their jobs in Switzerland. 

The IT union Syndicom, which represents some Google employees, announced the walkout in a blog post, saying employees called on the company to “engage in dialogue with workers to thoroughly and seriously examine alternatives to layoffs.” 

Those who walked out at 11 a.m. local time rallied behind the slogan: “We walk out for those who can’t walk back in.” 

More than 200 employees in Switzerland were let go as part of the 6% reduction to its workforce that Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a January memo. The cuts resulted in about 12,000 job losses globally. 

A Syndicom representative told media in a statement that Google rejected a proposal from about 2,500 employees who offered to reduce their wages and working hours to avoid job cuts in Switzerland. 

“Our members at Google Zurich and all employees joining the walkout are showing solidarity with those laid off,” the representative said. 

The union highlighted what it called the “intransparent procedure” of the layoffs, which came despite the company “making billions in profit every year.” Google’s parent company, Alphabet, made a net profit of almost $60 billion last year. 

Workers at the Zurich office also staged another walkout last month when the layoffs were first announced, Reuters reported.