• Slack: Add a Block Button to Protect Victims of Harassment
    “Hey, do you know if I can block someone on Slack?” a friend texted me. Someone at her workplace had a crush on her, and he wouldn’t stop sending creepy messages over Slack—the platform she is required to use for many hours a day to do her job. She therefore couldn’t ignore it every time it pings her with messages, even though they were often from her harasser. Though she could attempt to avoid him physically in the office, as soon as she opened her computer, her dot would turn green. Because her coworkers need to know where she is, it meant he could see whenever she was online, too. He would immediately start messaging her; she felt like she had nowhere to hide. As it turns out, Slack does not have the functionality for a user to mute or block anyone. This is despite the fact nearly every social network now gives you the ability to block someone: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all offer easy ways to mute and block users, and they even have dedicated channels to help users through this process. But Slack technically isn’t a social network, even if it’s used socially. Slack views itself as a tool, an infrastructure for production and producing. From alumni organizations to conferences and meet ups, it helps businesses and employees plan, document, and work. The friend I mentioned earlier uses Slack as the main method of communication with her coworkers. Without it, she couldn’t plan meetings, share links, or document her progress for projects. You can’t simply choose not to use that tool without causing a significant workplace fallout. This is a scenario many women and marginalized groups suffer through: someone makes them feel uncomfortable, but if they raise the issue, it may reflect badly on them for overreacting. So they don’t say anything at all, and continue putting up with the microagressions. Online harassment can affect anyone, but it affects marginalized groups the most. On most social-media platforms, a victim can block a harasser and file a harassment report. But Slack doesn’t even mention harassment in their policies. In its “Acceptable Use Policy,” it only outlines that Slack cannot be used for inciting hatred or violence against individuals or groups. The company doesn’t have an official page—or even a blog post—on what to do when their product is used to harass people. Everyone should have the ability to mute, block, and generally augment their experiences online, because having the ability to tailor your privacy settings and how people can reach you creates safety. Ideally your workplace has a system in place to mitigate both online and offline harassment—but what happens if that person doesn’t stop? It’s time for Slack to catch up with other tech platforms and do more to protect victims of harassment.
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  • Tell Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that gender & pregnancy discrimination is wrong
    My name is Lisa, and I'm an actor and a mom who has acted on multiple Netflix shows. Throughout my career, I’ve watched as women across my industry (writers, producers, actors, and tech workers) have been discriminated against as soon as they decide to start a family. That must end. Now. This month, former Netflix manager Tania Zarak bravely spoke out after she was fired by Netflix. When Tania told her boss that she was pregnant, Tania says her boss began isolating her, excluding her from meetings, and even removing her from Netflix shows. After enduring this treatment for weeks, Tania did what we’re supposed to do - complain to HR. But she said Netflix HR notified her boss, who became angry and called her in for a meeting. That’s when Tania’s boss asked when her due date was and encouraged her to quit. Tania refused. Incredibly, the next day, Tania’s boss fired her.[1] THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. I’ve watched this happen again and again, but didn't expect this from Netflix, the largest and most profitable company in our industry, especially now in the #MeToo #TimesUp era. Despite boasting about its leave policy while recruiting potential employees, Netflix has a track record of inequity on this issue. A former Netflix HR director alleged that as Netflix promotes its leave policy, behind closed doors, Netflix secretly pressures and forces out employees who get pregnant and/or take leave because Netflix HR executives said that “women in particular that take such time are not serious about their careers.”[2] Netflix also previously only provided paid parental leave to some employees, leading workers in its DVD department to launch a public campaign to pressure Netflix to offer paid family leave for all employees.[3] The casts and crews on sets I’ve worked on have been treated with respect and humanity. I want to know that this culture extends to all divisions of a company that I work for, and support with my subscription dollars, as I'm guessing many of you do as well. What happened to Tania is especially awful because Netflix hides its actions behind its family leave policy. It's not enough for Netflix to offer family leave if Netflix then retaliates and fires employees who become pregnant and try to take it! PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION & SHOW NETFLIX THAT WE STAND WITH TANIA AND WORKING MOMS WHO STAND UP TO DISCRIMINATION. [1] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6882153/Former-Netflix-manager-39-sues-streaming-giant-claiming-fired-pregnant.html [2] https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/netflix-settles-executive-claiming-widespread-sexual-harassment-1050313 [3] https://www.coworker.org/petitions/netfix-extend-paid-parental-leave-policy-to-all-employees
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  • Fire Activision CEO Bobby Kotick for pocketing millions while laying off 800 workers
    The 800 workers who helped with community management, marketing games, running eSports, legal, and so much more are all far more valuable than the CEO. When making the decision to cut someone from Activision we'd choose to #FireBobbyKotick every time. Bobby Kotick has been raking in $30 million dollars a year as Activision CEO, that massive income doesn't come from nowhere. It comes from the labor of his employees. Kotick's wealth is built from the stolen wages of his workers. [1] Activision, under Kotick's leadership, gave a $15 million dollar bonus to the CFO *just for changing his job title* then they have the gall to turn around and lay off 800 workers just days later? [2] It's disgusting to hear Kotick boasting about record revenue for the company then announcing an 8% staffing cut in the next breath. Kotick was especially proud to announce the 9% bump to stockholder values. That 9% comes from our labor. [3] Please sign this petition in solidarity and send a message to Activision Blizzard's c-suite that we won't let their greed ruin the games we love and uproot the lives of workers anymore! Sources: 1. https://kotaku.com/activisions-ceo-made-28-6-million-last-year-300-times-1825715966 2. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-04/activision-gives-15-million-sweetener-to-new-cfo-dennis-durkin 3. https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/yw83kg/activision-blizzard-reports-record-revenue-as-they-fuck-over-800-employees
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  • Uber & Lyft: Reverse the Rate Cut
    More and more drivers are living in their cars. Unable to afford housing based off earnings as a driver, or unable to travel the distance home. More and more drivers are spending less time with their families, seeing their children, or taking care of themselves, because they cannot afford to turn their app off. What once was a reliable way to make income has become a cycle of driving as many hours as possible to barely scrape by. As Uber and Lyft prepare to go public this year with IPO offerings, they are doing everything in their power to show the profitability of their business. And they are doing this by taking more and more money from their drivers. Uber just reached a new low - cutting drivers’ mileage rates from $0.99/mile to $0.68/mile. Not only did Uber decrease the overall mileage rate, they changed the way drivers receive surge pricing - which is an incentive pay that drivers rely on to make a living. Prior to the change, surge pricing was based on a multiplier of the total trip (i.e 1.8x surge would earn the driver an additional 80% on the overall trip). The current change in surge pricing places a flat dollar rate such as $2.50, with a note that claims “you may earn even more than this amount on longer rides.” The key wording here is “may.” Driver experience has shown us that while some trips have added additional surge, others have not. Uber’s lack of transparency on how they formulate and determine surge payouts leaves drivers guessing what their fare will be. Gig Workers Rising is taking action against Uber and Lyft’s unyielding greed. Reverse the rate cuts and give drivers a voice! Join us by taking action and signing our petition.
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  • Uber and Lyft: Give Drivers a Voice
    “When Uber deactivated me, I had been driving for them for 2 years. One day, I woke up and couldn’t log in to the app. Uber deactivated me because of a glitch in their system. In my case, the deactivation was Uber’s fault, but drivers get unfairly deactivated every day for all sorts of reasons. Uber kept me out of work for 3 weeks and I fell behind on my car payment. A car payment that I was making to Uber, because I had been leasing a car from them for 18 months. Once my account was reactivated, I worked 12-13 hours a day to catch up on my car payment. It didn’t matter. Uber repossessed my car - taking the thing that I rely on to make a living and something that I was leasing from them. Even though I’ve been reactivated, I live in constant fear that I could be deactivated again for some unknown reason. We shouldn't have to live like this.” -Eleisha R. Every day, Uber and Lyft drivers work under a constant fear of having their accounts deactivated. Deactivation is the equivalent of an immediate firing. Drivers are frequently deactivated with little to no warning, and they are often given no explanation of why they were deactivated, or how they can remedy the situation. The constant threat of termination, in addition to limited opportunity for recourse, means drivers are constantly in a state of fear. Drivers’ stability at work is entirely out of their hands. Instead, their future is decided by the whims of passengers and the companies. It is almost impossible for drivers to advocate for themselves once deactivated, or to fight for reactivation. If you aren't an Uber or Lyft driver, can you imagine working in these conditions? There are numerous things that trigger deactivations including car accidents, background checks, passenger complaints and driver personal safety concerns. Clear policies on why deactivations occur must be developed for each of these issues and more. Drivers need a voice at Uber and Lyft in shaping these policies to better protect both drivers and passengers alike. Drivers deserve a seat at the table. Gig Workers Rising has decided that it is time to take action against Uber and Lyft’s unfair deactivation practices and the devastating impacts they have on drivers. This petition will be delivered in person to Uber and Lyft by drivers. Join us by taking action and signing our petition.
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  • Tech should not be in the business of war
    Over three thousand employees at Google recently wrote a letter to their CEO explaining their opposition to Project Maven [1], after learning that their work was part of a US Department of Defense contract being considered. We are employees of the tech industry who invite all supporters to join us in amplifying their demand to break these contracts across the industry. The DoD contracts under consideration by Google, and similar contracts at IBM, Microsoft [2] and Amazon [3] break user trust, and signal a dangerous alliance between the US military and the tech industry. Tech companies that have vast quantities of sensitive data from users across the globe shouldn’t build offensive technology for one country’s military. Google says its technology will only be used to “non-offensive” ends. Our last few years working in the tech industry has issued reminder after painful reminder of the unintended outcomes of even benignly-designed tech. We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards. These are life and death stakes. We risk potentially catastrophic outcomes if we continue to deploy global technical systems without care, deliberation, and a clear understanding of our significant responsibility. In signing this petition, we represent a growing network of tech workers who commit to never “just follow orders”, but to hold ourselves, each other, and the industry accountable. Sign on and join us as we demand that Google break its contract with the DoD, urge our employers at IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon to stay out of the business of war, and call upon our peers to adopt binding ethical standards for the use of AI. 1. "‘The Business of War’: Google Employees Protest Work for the Pentagon" https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/technology/google-letter-ceo-pentagon-project.html 2. "Ungrateful Google Plebes Somehow Not Excited to Work on Military Industrial Complex Death Machines" https://futurism.com/google-maven-drones-military-contract/ 3. "Google is Pursuing the Pentagon’s Giant Cloud Contract Quietly, Fearing An Employee Revolt" https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/04/google-pursuing-pentagons-giant-cloud-contract-quietly-fearing-employee-revolt/147407/ *No names will be visible on the petition until the petition reaches 100 signatures. At that point your first name and last initial only will appear, not your workplace. Tech Workers Coalition may reach out to you on the basis of your workplace.*
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  • Tech workers stand with our security officers
    Security contractors, bus drivers, cafeteria and maintenance workers do their part to make Silicon Valley the most prosperous region in the world, yet they struggle every day to feed their families, live near their jobs, pay their rent, and take care of themselves and their children when they are sick. Although the region's top tech firms made a record $103 billion in profits in 2013, one in three Silicon Valley households do not make enough money to meet their most basic needs. Between 2009 and 2015, the average rent for an apartment jumped by 32.2%. Yet over that same time, adjusted median incomes for renters have actually declined 2.8%(Source: https://siliconvalleyrising.org/). This has forced families to cram together in small apartments, move far away from their jobs, make unhealthy trade-offs between rent and other essentials like food and prescriptions, or sleep on the streets. But things are changing. Last year over 3,000 security officers working for security contractors of many Silicon Valley tech companies including Facebook, Google, Oracle, Adobe and Cisco voted to form a union to gain a voice on the job, better pay and better working conditions. Today many are still in contract negotiations—it’s a critical time to voice our support as tech employees who are their colleagues. We have a lot learn from their efforts about how we can also come together for more democratic workplaces. Sign here to show your support for security officers fighting for fair wages in this lucrative industry, and help spread their story across Silicon Valley to ensure that all tech workers have a voice in our workplaces.
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  • Petition for Oracle to speak out in support of DACA
    Trump’s decision to end DACA will negatively impact Oracle's business. The decision to end DACA will impact Oracle's employees–not just those who participate in the program, but their co-workers, their teams, their families, and their communities. The policy will also cause economic loss, as Oracle will face turnover when those impacted are forced to leave. Immigrants have made immeasurable contributions to the tech industry and this policy will prevent companies like Oracle from recruiting the very best talent. As Oracle employees, we are enriched by immigrants we work with both professionally and personally. Other industry leaders like Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple have pledged their legal and moral support for employees impacted by the administration's decision. Oracle should do the same. We strongly urge Oracle to take a stance on this on behalf of its employees.
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  • Stand for more than just profits
    We ask for these things to assert that Etsy's community, along with its board and senior leadership, should have a say in shaping Etsy's future. While a renewed sense of focus and experimentation is welcome, many of the abrupt and often disruptive changes over the past few months seem designed to address the demands of black-and-white capital, a hedge fund that owns around 2% of Etsy’s stock.[4] While black-and-white capital might buy or sell on Etsy (and we truly hope they do!), they do not represent the tens of millions of people that make up our community. It’s honestly hard to tell if they represent anything other than a desire to enrich themselves and their clients (their website, bandwcap.com, remained blank as of 7/28/2017). As employees of Etsy and members of the Etsy community, we believe that a business guided by a strong set of values, and in pursuit of an important mission, is worth fighting for. We value the long-term success of our sellers and buyers much more highly than the short-term profits of a hedge fund. Our goal is to give voice to the aspirations we have for Etsy as Etsy employees. We are calling for transparency from Etsy’s leadership, and asking for a commitment from the company that it will do right by its community for the long term, not just for the next earnings call. If you are a member of the Etsy community and you believe in this vision, add your name to support us as we deliver it to Etsy’s leadership. Links: [0]: https://www.etsy.com/mission [1]: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1370637/000119312515077045/d806992ds1.htm [2]: https://www.etsy.com/advocacy/economic-security-for-the-self-employed [3]: https://blog.etsy.com/news/2016/bringing-solar-to-the-etsy-community-and-running-a-carbon-neutral-marketplace/ [4]: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-05-18/the-barbarians-are-at-etsy-s-hand-hewn-responsibly-sourced-gates
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  • Lyft: Stop allowing illegal pickup/dropoff requests via the Lyft App!
    Lyft, Inc. is placing its drivers in difficult and dangerous situations by allowing our passengers to request pickups or dropoffs at illegal locations. 1. Allowing passengers to make illegal requests subjects us to being stopped and fined by the police. These city fines are steep and cost us 1 or 2 days worth of work. 2. Expecting Lyft drivers to inform passengers that we cannot pick them up or drop them off at their location of choice is a recipe for driver-passenger conflict, lower ratings, less tips and distracted driving. 3. As long as Lyft allows illegal pickup/dropoff requests via the Lyft App, drivers will continue accepting the requests and passengers will expect to be picked up where they requested. This is causing even more congestion and accidents on our busy streets -- be a better corporate citizen!
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  • Petition for Oracle to sign the Immigrant Amicus Brief
    Trump’s executive order is negative for American Business. Immigrants have made immeasurable contributions to the tech industry and this will prevent companies like Oracle from recruiting the very best talent. As Oracle employees, we are enriched by immigrants we work with both professionally and personally. Oracle is a notable exception to the 127 tech companies that have already signed the brief, yet could be one of the most impacted. The 9th Court of Appeals will weigh in on this later this week and we strongly urge Oracle to take a stance on this on behalf of its employees. Irene Scher Rachel Kane Lara Beers
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  • IBMers to CEO Ginni Rometty: Affirm IBM values!
    Dear Ginni Rometty: In response to your open letter to Mr. Trump [1], we are disappointed that you did not reaffirm the core values which differentiate both IBM as a company and us collectively as IBMers. While we understand your willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with the president-elect, we believe our shared culture and values remain not only constant, but also central to our transformation underpinned by cloud and cognitive initiatives. As you know, more than 400,000 IBMers around the world work in environments where diversity—including diversity of thought—is the norm. IBM values this because our diversity helps create innovation that enhances every aspect of our business. Your internal memo to employees, advocating diversity and the open exchange of ideas, echoes IBM President Tom Watson’s Policy Letter #4 [2]. Watson’s letter reaffirmed IBM’s moral leadership by refusing to discriminate on the basis of race, resisting the prevailing attitudes of governors in the southern United States. In this instance, Watson sacrificed short-term business interests in order to be on the right side of history, something IBM takes pride in today. IBM’s leadership in this domain is more essential than ever. If we cannot boldly and openly affirm our commitment to diversity, then who are we? The right thing to do for IBM workers and our stakeholders—which includes every person on the planet touched by our technology—is to emphasize this in writing to public officials. Yet writing is not enough. We have a moral and business imperative to uphold the pillars of a free society by declining any projects which undermine liberty, such as surveillance tools threatening freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The kinds of moral decisions you and our senior executives make in the next four years will define our corporate character for our next century. This will be your legacy. Taking a conservative approach has grave implications. Our own founder’s experience and the rest of history teach us that accommodating those who unleash forces of aggressive nationalism, bigotry, racism, fear, and exclusion inevitably yields devastating outcomes for millions of innocents. IBMers are members of a global family without borders. Hostile rhetoric towards immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, LGBT people, and others impinge on our core values of tolerance, diversity, and open exchange of ideas that are essential for innovation and our ability to recruit top talent. In this present context of insecurity and unpredictability, we also share deep concerns about recent reductions in benefits programs. This has consequences on the morale, retention, and well-being of long-term IBMers, especially those affected by our company’s transformation. For our mutual aid and protection, we petition you to do what is right for IBMers, our business, and society, on the basis of equitable treatment and fairness: (1) Respect our right to refuse participation in any U.S. contracts that violate constitutional and civil liberties. (2) Expand our diversity recruitment programs specifically targeting women, people of color, and LGBT people with the goal of doubling recruitment of these groups in 2017 and steadily increasing the share of these groups as a proportion of new hiring in subsequent years. (3) Prohibit perceived influence-peddling of elected officials by restricting IBM and its employees from using any Trump owned or Trump branded properties for business purposes, in accordance with the IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. (4) Treat established workers with dignity by restoring the 2015 Individual Separation Allowance Plan that provided severance based on years of employment instead of the current one-month severance plan for all employees, regardless of time served. (5) Make IBM retirement plan contributions equitable by restoring company 401k match contributions to regular pay cycles instead of a one-time, year-end contribution that is contingent on being employed as of December 15 of the calendar year, which is not fair to employees who are laid off before that date. As IBMers, we strive to be engaged citizens of the world; innovating how we think and work; collaborating across cultures, time zones, and borders; and, in doing so, we make a positive impact locally and globally. While our differences shape who we are as individual IBMers, our shared corporate culture and values remain central to our success. We petition you to affirm this identity, and we thank you in advance for your leadership and courage in the years ahead. Respectfully, Your fellow IBMers, past and present [1] https://www.ibm.com/blogs/policy/ibm-ceo-ginni-romettys-letter-u-s-president-elect/ [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PByaqDeBEzE
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