Layoffs in tech: Google and Amazon stuck by European regulations


Posted Apr 7, 2023, 11:30 AM Not so easy to make redundant in Europe. Google…

Layoffs in tech: Google and Amazon stuck by European regulations

Layoffs in tech: Google and Amazon stuck by European regulations

Posted Apr 7, 2023, 11:30 AM

Not so easy to make redundant in Europe. Google and Amazon, two tech giants who recently announced sweeping global layoff plans, are finding it painfully harder than expected to part ways with their employees on the Old Continent. While labor law is particularly flexible across the Atlantic, it is much more complicated to lay off here, particularly in France and Germany.

In January, Google announced part with some 12,000 employees while Amazon launched a first wave of job cuts of 18,000 at the start of 2023, extended by a second round of 9,000 layoffs announced at the end of March . Never-before-seen figures, which have confirmed a broader phenomenon of layoffs in the tech sector for several months. These staff cuts follow the collapse of the stock market sector, after good years during the health crisis, during which technology companies had hired with a vengeance.

No layoffs without negotiations

The United States is notorious for its weak protection of workers in the case of departure plans. In most European countries, on the other hand, waves of layoffs cannot take place without prior negotiations with staff representatives and unions. Conditions that make the difference for employees and decision-makers alike.

Now, many European employees of Google and Amazon are uncertain whether or not their jobs will be eliminated. On the corporate side, management is realizing that the process will probably take longer and above all more expensive than expected.

Focus on voluntary departures

To overcome the problem, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is leaning towards voluntary departures with high compensation, which should encourage employees to leave. At Amazon France, some executives were offered up to a year’s salary and additional leave before leaving in May. The Amazon shares they own will be paid directly to them as a bonus.

For the French and German cases, Google has launched a process of negotiations with the works councils, but the case could take time. It is likely that employees in these two countries will be the last to be affected by these massive layoffs. “We have worked carefully and individually in each country where reductions are taking place to fully comply with local legal requirements, which vary by location, are complex and time-consuming,” a company spokesperson explained. Silicon Valley.

Variations between States

In Paris, the management of the company, which employs around 1,600 people, assured that there would be no forced departure. The number of employees who will leave their positions is not yet known, and negotiations are ongoing. Among our German neighbours, Amazon has started to lay off employees on probation and to offer voluntary departures. In Luxembourg, management offered employees one month’s salary for each year of seniority. However, there will be no layoffs at Google for the brand’s subsidiaries in Romania, Greece and Austria, according to management.

In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the situation is a little more favorable for the company: the labor law is less strict there than among its neighbors across the Channel. Between 500 and 8,000 departures are expected in the coming weeks, according to the union Unite the Union. The compensation offered is not known, and the job cuts unfortunately do not seem to be negotiable for British employees. “They are trying to do the legal minimum,” lamented a union representative. Same story in Dublin, where wage organizations are planning 240 departures.

Union aspirations

Google employees recently created a transnational union between the firm’s various European subsidiaries, which includes Switzerland and the United Kingdom, but it will not be operational for several months. It could make it possible to put forward collective messages, in the long term, on this type of issue.

Moreover, these demands seem to inspire workers on the American side, where unions are still embryonic in many companies. “It is an inspiration for Americans to see that things are different in other countries, it is a model of what people can fight for,” said Parul Koul, the executive chairman of the Alphabet workers in New York.

With Bloomberg

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *