This is merely 600 workers out of 150,000, and you know they’re all just going to cave in eventually, but 600 Google employees won’t go down without a tantrum over the company’s vaccination mandate.
It’s a familiar dance that’s played out with pretty much every workplace vaccination mandate since the COVID-19 vaccination mandates became a thing. A date is declared at which employees must be vaccinated, a tiny handful of malcontents makes a big stink that they’re going to quit, but they all fall into line and get vaccinated despite their hissy fits and threats of lawsuits.
Hey, Google… how is this playing out for you and your parent company Alphabet? Well, their famously pampered workforce is simply required to report their vaccination status by December 3. Which all seems easy enough, but the SF Business Times reports that “at least 600 Google employees” have signed a manifesto opposing the vaccine mandate.
Wow, they made a list of the dumbest people at Google https://t.co/gXgeMUKY6t— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) November 23, 2021
The “manifesto” is not public and is on some sort of internal company messaging board, but CNBC has published several clips from it. “Barring unvaccinated Googlers from the office publicly and possibly embarrassingly exposes a private choice as it would be difficult for the Googler not to reveal why they cannot return,” the manifesto reportedly says. “Such Googlers may never feel comfortable expressing their true sentiments about a company health policy and other, unrelated sensitive topics. This results in silenced perspective and exacerbates the internal ideological ‘echo chamber’ which folks both inside and outside of Google have observed for years.”
Why do people who are on some bullshit always call it a "manifesto"? https://t.co/hoSnYFZOBo— Marco Rogers (@polotek) November 24, 2021
This of course ignores that Google doesn’t really even have choice in this matter. President Biden’s Labor Department announced a requirement in September that companies with 100 or more employees would be required to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated. (It’s being challenged it court, but it’s still currently the law.) That requirement does allow for the “frequent testing” loophole, which apparently Google is not having. An email cited in the manifesto from Google’s vice president of global security Chris Rackow said that frequent testing is “not a valid alternative.”
Google has already announced in July that the company would require vaccinations for working on campus. The company’s CEO Sundar Pichai said last month that about 30% of Bay Area Googlers were back in the office, but the new requirement also applies to people working remotely.
Less salacious headline: 99.6% of Google’s 150,000 employees OK with vaccine mandate https://t.co/R75CRBI4OL— Ray Wert (@raywert) November 23, 2021
It bears mentioning that the 600 yahoos who signed on to this manifesto represent less than 1% of Google’s workforce. That context is important, but it’s also important to follow these pushback skirmishes, and detail the degree to which they are often unsuccessful. And Google’s internal anti-vaccine uprising may be particularly unsuccessful, because when you’re paying people such extravagant salaries, it’s not too difficult to find someone else willing to take the job.
Image: The Pancake of Heaven! via Wikimedia Commons