Google and Amazon Struggle to Lay Off Workers in Europe

Posted on 6th of April 2023 | 233 words

cries in corporate…

“Difficult” labour laws make it hard for corporations to fire people. Voluntary departures and individual settlements are favoured

In the US, companies can announce widespread job cuts and let go of hundreds if not thousands of workers within months — and many have. Meanwhile, in Europe, mass layoffs among tech companies have stalled because of labor protections that make it virtually impossible to dismiss people in some countries without prior consultations with employee interest groups. […]

Both in France and Germany, where labor laws are among the strongest in the EU, Google is currently in negotiations with works councils — company-specific groups whose elected employee representatives negotiate with management about workforce issues, according to a person familiar with the matter. By law, companies are required to bargain with these councils before implementing layoffs — a sometimes lengthy process that includes information gathering, negotiations and the possibility of recourse. […]

While the different standards of treatment have not created friction among Google employees spread around the world, “people have realized the way things happen in the US versus France and Germany” are different, says Parul Koul, executive chair of the Alphabet Workers Union and a software engineer at Google based in New York.

“It is inspiring for people in the US to see things are different in other places – it’s a blueprint for what people can fight for,” they added.