UNI Global Union to Alphabet investors: Vote to punish sexual harassment
- Federation representing 20 million service workers—including 3 million tech and telecoms employees—announces investor outreach with Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
- Announcement made while the International Labour Conference that is debating an ILO convention to end gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace
- Alphabet shareholders’ meeting is 19 June
GENEVA, 17 June 2019—UNI Global Union, the global union federation for 20 million service sector workers, is calling on Alphabet’s largest institutional investors to support a shareholder proposal that would allow the company to claw back executive compensation for egregious misconduct such as sexual harassment.
Proposal 15, the initiative to tackle the issue of sexual harassment and assault at Alphabet owned companies including Google, comes to a vote at the company’s 19 June annual meeting.
UNI’s shareholder outreach effort was announced while the ILO is considering a convention to end gender-based violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Christy Hoffman, UNI General Secretary commented on the shareholder proposal:
“At the ILO, we are on the verge of an advancement for human rights, for workers’ rights, and for women’s rights around the world. But that progress cannot stop here.
“We are calling on Alphabet shareholders to make the company’s talk of accountability real. Proposal 15 is more than a necessary governance reform. It is part of a broader change urgently needed in the company’s culture.
“Alphabet’s apparent tolerance of grave misconduct is a breakdown in oversight and rewarding the perpetrators of that behavior is unethical. Passing this proposal is a needed first step to address the ongoing moral crisis at this company.”
The SEIU Pension Plans Master Trust of the Service Employees International Union, submitted Proposal 15 in response to more than $100 million in pay-outs to Google executives credibly accused of sexual harassment and assault. Alphabet is Google’s parent company. News of the pay-outs ignited unprecedented outrage among Google employees, thousands of whom staged a global walkout in 2018 to demand change.
UNI has been a vocal supporter of the Google workers who have taken a stand against harassment and other gross misconduct at the company. UNI represents 3 million employees in the information, communications, and technology sectors—including workers at Alphabet contractors.
The global union has also been a long-time advocate of an ILO convention to stop gender-based violence at work, and it has negotiated nearly 60 global agreements with the largest employers in the world—several of which include provisions to end sexual harassment and discrimination on the job.