Workers Union kicks As Google Sacks Hundreds In Fresh Layoffs

A group representing the interest of workers at Google’s parent company, the Alphabet Workers Union, has kicked against the latest moves by Google to lay off hundreds of staff working on its digital assistant, hardware, and engineering teams.

A year ago, Google announced that it would be cutting 12,000 jobs worldwide, which was 6% of its workforce. Recently, this resulted in job losses for those who were working on the development of Google Assistant (a voice-based digital assistant) and the augmented reality hardware team. The cuts also impacted employees in the central engineering organization.

What the Union is saying

Disturbed by the new development, the Alphabet Workers Union in a post on its X handle on Thursday said:

“Today, it has come to our attention that Google has initiated another round of layoffs that seem unnecessary. Our team members and colleagues put in a lot of effort every day to develop innovative products for our users, and we strongly believe that the company should not be terminating any more of our coworkers while making billions in profits every quarter. We are determined to keep fighting until our jobs are secured and safe.”

Heat from competition

Google’s main search business is facing stiff competition from Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI, both of which offer rival artificial intelligence services. To cope with this competition, Google is planning to make cuts in certain areas of its operations and redirect resources towards their biggest priorities. Google executives have promised investors that they will review the company’s operations to identify where cuts can be made.

  • “In the latter half of 2023, several teams at Google underwent restructuring to enhance their efficiency, better collaboration and allocate their resources to their significant product priorities. A few teams are still undergoing these organizational changes, which also involve the elimination of some roles worldwide,” stated Google.

Amazon is laying off too

Amazon has laid off hundreds of staff in its Prime Video and studios business this week, joining the wave of tech layoffs that began in late 2022 to early 2023.

Mike Hopkins, the executive in charge of the streaming video and studios division, which includes the recently acquired MGM unit, announced on Wednesday in an email to employees that there will be job cuts.

  • In the past year, we have analyzed every aspect of our business to enhance our ability to offer groundbreaking movies, TV shows, and live sports in a customized, user-friendly entertainment experience to our customers worldwide. Consequently, we have discovered opportunities to decrease or halt investments in specific areas while amplifying our investment and emphasis on content and product initiatives that have the most significant effect. Hopkins wrote this in the memo.

Amazon cut over 18,000 jobs in January 2020 due to uncertainty in the economy.

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