This article published by inequality.org is written by Bama Athreya. Here is an excerpt:
Google’s well-known motto, “Don’t be Evil,” might imply the company expects employees will use their moral compass. Then again, maybe not. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently reviewed a case regarding Google’s termination of several employees for applying their conscience at work. What the NLRB decides will have major implications for workplace rights.
But something more is at stake. The protesting employees, known as the “Thanksgiving Four,” were terminated the day before Thanksgiving in 2019. Their offense: objecting to Google’s bid on a contract with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at a time when CBP’s separation of migrant children from their parents was a national issue. They say they were terminated for their stance on human rights and corporate ethics, consistent with the company’s “Don’t be Evil” directive. The company argues its employees’ freedom of expression on civic matters is not protected at work. The NLRB case is a battle over employees’ First Amendment right to dissent with a company’s position on matters of national interest.
When employees are socialized to accept a chilling environment at work, what effect does this have on their role as citizens? A little-noticed debate in the European Parliament recently took on this important topic. Europe, like the United States, faces the threat of rising right-wing populism amidst rising inequality at home and pressures of immigration from abroad. For most citizens struggling with the economic shocks of the past year, bread and butter issues take precedence over longer-term threats such as the rollback of civil rights. It can be easier to scapegoat other communities than take on what seem like intractable forces driving further inequality. In the United States, right-wing politicians have goaded citizens who feel the loss of economic power to vigilantism rather than civic engagement, adding further stress to an already weakened social fabric.
Read the full article here.