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To Protest Mishandling Of Sexual Harassment Cases Google Workers Walk Off

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said "employees have raised constructive ideas" which the company will turn "into action."

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Employees ride company bicycles outside Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Hundreds of Google employees are expected to temporality leave their jobs Thursday morning Nov. 1, 2018, in a mass walkout protesting the internet company's lenien. VOA
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Hundreds of Google employees in Asia walked off the job briefly Thursday as part of a worldwide protest of the company’s handling of sexual harassment cases and its workplace culture.

Hundreds of other Google workers and contractors, most of them women, are also expected Thursday to walk out of nearly two dozen company offices around the world.

The walkouts are the latest indications of employee dissatisfaction that escalated last week after the New York Times reported the internet giant paid millions of dollars in severance pay to male executives accused of harassment without disclosing their wrongful acts.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

The Times report said, for example, that Google paid $90 million in 2014 to then-senior vice president Andy Rubin after he was accused of sexual harassment. Rubin denied the allegations in the article, which Google did not dispute.

The report energized a months-long employee movement to improve treatment of women and minorities and increase diversity. The movement earlier this year included petition drives, meetings with senior executives and training from the workers’ rights group Coworker.org.

Organizers demanded late Wednesday that Google parent Alphabet Inc. add a worker representative to its board of directors and internally disclose pay equity information. Employees also asked the company to revise their human resources practices to make the harassment claims filing process more equitable.

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The logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said “employees have raised constructive ideas” which the company will turn “into action.”

Also Read: People Hope To Get Transparency in System With #MeToo Movement

Dissatisfaction among Alphabet’s 94,000 workers and tens of thousands of contractors has not adversely affected the company’s share price. But employees have said they expect Alphabet to have recruiting and retention problems if the problems are not adequately addressed. (VOA)

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Drone Delivery Project by Google All Set to ‘Take off’ in Australia

Up to 30 businesses were expected to take part in the first trial

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A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Australia is set to become “the most advanced country in the world” in drone delivery when the first commercial service by Google starts operations in 2019.

Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, on Thursday announced that its commercial drone home-delivery service would launch in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) next year, reports Xinhua news agency.

The drones will travel at speeds of up to 125 km per hour and will deliver small packages, including cups of coffee, to homes within 5 km of the company’s base in Mitchell in the northern suburbs of Canberra.

James Ryan Burgess, CEO of Wing, said that the 12-rotor drones, which were designed to guarantee safety, weigh 4.5 kg each and can carry packages weighing up to 1.5 kg.

On-the-ground, operators will supervise multiple flights at a time as the drones fly to their destination automatically.

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Google’s drone delivery project set to ‘take off’ in Australia. Pixabay

“We have high levels of automation and so the aircraft themselves are doing a lot of the determining of what is safe, and making sure that they are monitoring themselves to be healthy. If there are any anomalies or any problems, the aircraft actually take action themselves before even a human could react and are able to execute safe contingency actions,” Burgess told the media.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’re able to perform such quick service and get people (their) packages within just a few minutes… The system can take off right away when the customer places an order.”

Moreover, a supervisor can quickly take control of a drone if necessary.

Also Read- People Raise Over $1 bn on Facebook

Up to 30 businesses were expected to take part in the first trial.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has worked with Wing since 2014 to ensure safety and will use the results of the trial to guide future drone regulations. (IANS)