• 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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    Created by Niloufar Salehi
  • 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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    Created by Don Zama
  • 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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    Created by IBMPETITION. ORG
  • Netflix: Extend paid parental leave policy to ALL employees
    As a huge fan of Netflix and a fairly new mom, I was so excited to hear Netflix announce a groundbreaking new parental leave policy for its employees: “an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.” But I’m disappointed to learn that not all Netflix employees will get this crucial benefit. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t mandate paid parental leave and the Department of Labor estimates that only 12% of U.S. private sector workers get paid family leave through their employer. That’s why it is such a big deal that companies like Netflix are taking the lead to ensure their employees have the time that is required to bond with their new children. But shortly after the fanfare about Netflix’s new policy, the company confirmed to The Huffington Post that hundreds of workers in the company’s DVD division aren’t eligible for the company’s new parental leave policy. Sure, the DVD service might be less popular these days, but it still brings in hundreds of millions of dollars for Netflix and is even MORE profitable than the company’s streaming services. More importantly, it’s wrong for Netflix to create two classes of employees. Already, there’s a divide between higher income earners (especially in the tech industry) and low wage workers in terms of access to important benefits like parental leave. Netflix shouldn’t be contributing to this inequality within its own company. The warehouse workers who handle the returning, sorting and shipping of DVDs deserve to benefit from the same “freedom and responsibility” culture Netflix says it works to create. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/
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  • Apple: Observe MLK Day
    I’m a huge fan of Apple products. Growing up, I didn't have access to technology at home but the first computer I ever used was an Apple computer at school. When I was finally able to purchase my first personal computer, I chose Apple not just for its intuitive design features but also because I believed that the brand represented values that I also hold-- values like innovation, individuality, and-- what I've always found singular and inspiring in a tech company-- humanity. For me, Apple has always represented a brand that puts people first. It's why I have always chosen Apple at home and why I am proud to use the company’s technology to advocate for civil rights every day at work. That’s also why I was disappointed to learn that the company does not extend these same principles to their employees and chooses not to provide Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday for its employees. Despite its incredible reputation for innovation -- and despite using MLK’s image in its advertising -- Apple does not appear to “think different” when it comes to honoring Dr. King’s legacy. Many top Silicon Valley tech companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Ebay, Glassdoor, HP, LinkedIn, Square, and Uber observe this important federal holiday according to reports, but not Apple. In fact, a Bloomberg survey found that 37% of all US employers plan to observe MLK Day as a paid day off in 2015 -- the highest percentage yet. Apple has reportedly agreed to offer a donation of $50 to charity for each hour an employee volunteers for MLK Day of Service, but the company can and should do more by providing a day off for employees so that even more can fully participate and give back to their communities. As Coretta Scott King wrote, “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. It is a day of volunteering to… [build] the beloved community of his dream.” While Apple has generous vacation policies in many ways, as a leader in this area, Apple can surely participate in this important historic holiday as well. By joining other companies in observing MLK Day, Apple will demonstrate its commitment to a diverse staff and customer base and to the achievements of the civil rights movement. Please join me in asking Apple to “think different” on its stance on this policy and provide employees with a paid day off to observe MLK Day.
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    Created by Aimée Castenell
  • Uber: Give consumers the option of adding a tip to all Uber fares
    Uber initially marketed its transportation service as a seamless and cashless experience where the tip was included in the fare calculation. In fact, the fare calculation was, and is simply based upon time, distance, tolls, and surge charge. Notably absent is a gratuity. Eventually, Uber moved away from saying that the “tip is included in the fare” to a more ambiguous “there is no need to tip.” Based upon Uber’s global marketing, many Uber customers falsely believe that the Uber fare includes an automatic tip. While UberTaxi does include an automatic tip, the UberX, UberXL, UberPlus, UberBlack, and UberSUV platforms do NOT include any gratuity at all. Uber is fully aware of the confusion that exists in the marketplace regarding the tips. In fact, Uber’s present independent contractor agreement advises drivers that there is “no tipping.” But then, in the same sentence, advises drivers that Uber may, through advertising and marketing, communicate to customers that “tipping” is “’included in the Service Fee paid by the User.” In a recent commutation to an Uber customer, however, the Company clarified the tip issue by saying: “There’s no function that will allow riders to tip their drivers for vehicle options other than UberTaxi. That means for uberX, uberBlack, and the rest of the Uber services, you can’t leave a tip. And yes, the fare is simply a calculation of the base fare, time, distance, tolls, and surge rate.” Uber passengers deserve to know the truth and to have the option to tip within the app if they choose. In the past year, Uber has drastically reduced its fares, while at the same time increasing the commission it takes from each trip. For example, in December 2013, in Los Angeles, the uberX fare was $2.40 per mile, $0.60 per minute, with a base fare of $4.00. Of that fare, Uber would take a 5% commission. Today, an uberX driver will make $1.10 per mile, $0.21 per minute, with a base fare of $0.80. Of that reduced fare, Uber now takes a 25% commission. This means many of Uber drivers are taking home a lot less for our work than we used to, and we have to increase our hours behind the wheel by up to 50% in order to make up for the reduction in fares, and Uber's increased commission. Allowing a way for users to provide tips to drivers would make a huge difference to drivers and the families for which many of them are providing. It would also be a boost for driver morale and another incentive to great service. It shouldn’t be hard for Uber -- a tech company -- to create options within the app to allow customers to automatically tip their drivers. In fact, they are already doing it -- for uberTaxi, one of Uber’s services, users can request a ride from a regular cab through the app, and a default 20% tip is included in the fare (and app users can adjust that percentage online). If it can be done for uberTaxi, surely an innovative tech company like Uber could develop a solution for users to provide tips for drivers across all of its different services -- just like its competitor Lyft offers. Placing an automatic tip within the Uber app would be a win for both customers and drivers alike. Please join CADA in asking Uber to update its technology by adding a 20% default tip to ALL Uber fares. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/afagen/
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  • Require Vaccination for Right Networks while In Person
    At Right Networks, a large part of our company culture revolves around in-person gatherings (the company outing, the Christmas party, and so on). While we're in a mixed-vaccination state, some employees haven't felt that it's safe enough to attend in-person events or return to the office even temporarily. Putting these rules in place would allow for future gatherings to be less likely to result in an outbreak, helping us to feel safer attending.
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    Created by Brenna Connolly