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Old 13-03-19, 07:00   #1
 
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Hot Google Global Outages/Staff Rebel + Google's Tax Evasion

FINALLY Google Admits Global Outages on Gmail -But Still Wont Accept it Caused Probs on YouTube

Google's Gmail and Drive Suffer Global Outages


Users in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia report problems as Google says applications are experiencing ‘issues’

The Guardian UK, 12 MAR 2019.


Google was experiencing global outages on Wednesday, with users reporting issues with Gmail, Google Drive and Google Maps.

Various websites that track Gmail problems and outages, showed a spike in users reporting problems with the email service from about 1pm AEDT (2am GMT).

In a statement on their service website, Google said: “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Gmail. We will provide more information shortly. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behaviour.”

Gmail has more than one billion users.

Those affected were unable to send emails, receiving an error message that said “Message could not be sent. Check your network and try again”. Others experienced problems opening attachments.

Several hours after the issues were first reported Google confirmed that “customers will have issues accessing or attaching files in various products”, including “attaching or accessing attachments” to emails, “as well as accessing and saving draft emails and sending emails.” Google also confirmed there were issues with uploading and downloading files from Google Drive and uploading photos or attachments to Hangouts.

Google Maps also appeared to be experiencing issues, with users who tried to use Street View mode seeing a black screen, instead of images of the location. This issue was not confirmed by Google on its G Suite dashboard.

Google has not confirmed the cause of the outages or how long they would last.

The issues affected users around the globe, with people in the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America reporting problems.

Some people in Australia reported that the outages were a good excuse for not working through the afternoon.

But Google Group still refused to admit it caused problems for YouTube users...


... ........
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Old 04-04-19, 16:56   #2
 
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Update re: Google Global Outages/Staff Rebel + Google's Tax Evasion

Google Staff Condemn Treatment of Temp Workers in 'Historic' Show of Solidarity

Google issues new ‘minimum standards’ for temps after more than 900 employees sign letter criticizing abrupt firing


The Guardian UK, 3 APR 2019.


More than 900 Google workers have signed a letter objecting to the tech giant’s treatment of temporary contractors, in what organizers are calling a “historical coalition” between Google’s full-time employees (FTEs) and temps, vendors and contractors (TVCs).


In March, Google abruptly shortened the contracts of 34 temp workers on the “personality” team for Google Assistant – the Alexa-like digital assistant that reads you the weather, manages your calendar, sends a text message, or calls you an Uber through your phone or smart speaker.

The cuts, which affected contractors around the globe, reinvigorated the debate over Google’s extensive use of TVCs, amid a growing labor movement within the company. In recent months, Google FTEs and TVCs have been increasingly vocal in protesting both their working conditions and the ethics of their employer.

“For years, Google has boasted of its ability to scale up and down very quickly, and [sic] vocal in its ability to ‘navigate changes with agility’,” the letter reads. “A whole team thrown into financial uncertainty is what scaling down quickly looks like for Google workers. This is the human cost of agility.”

The TVCs on the personality team describe themselves in the 27 March letter as “the human labor that makes the Assistant relevant, funny, and relatable in more than 50 languages”. They are responsible for coming up with the Assistant’s not-too-groan-inducing jokes as well as the tone and content of more serious questions.

If you ask the Assistant if it is a ghost, it will respond, “Boo!” If you ask it “Who made you?” it says: “I was made by a team of people at Google.”

TVCs make up 54% of Google’s global workforce, and more than half of the people on the personality team, according to the letter. The TVCs on the personality team sit alongside Google FTEs in offices around the world, but they are employed by a staffing agency on contracts ranging from two to six months at a time.

On 8 March, about 80% of the TVCs on the team – 34 people – were informed that their contracts were ending ahead of schedule, either on 5 April or, in a few cases, on 31 July, according to the letter.

The layoffs took place around the globe, starting in Seoul, and hitting London just as TVCs in New York were heading to work.

“During the process, our managers and the full-time workers on our team were silent,” the letter states. “Google told them that offering support or even thanking us for years of work would make the company legally liable. Our teammates were told to distance themselves from us at the moment when we were most in need – just so that Google could avoid legal responsibility.”

A spokeswoman for Google noted that temporary workers were allowed to apply for full-time jobs, had received a minimum of four weeks’ notice, and could potentially receive another assignment from their staffing agency.

“Temporary workers join our workforce when we need to ramp up quickly for projects,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “When particular projects mature, we work to transition temp and vendor roles to regular full-time employee roles.”

The spokeswoman declined to provide information about what, if any, transition assistance it was providing.

One of the fired TVCs, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had learned of the cuts from a colleague in London, but did not get the official word for many hours.

“By the time I got the news at 4.30pm, I was already in agony and very stressed”, she said.

“The moment you say you work for Google, people think you are rich,” she added. “They don’t know that I don’t even have insurance.”

Rachel Miller, another of the TVCs on the team, who was not fired as her contract was already scheduled to end on 26 March, was working remotely that day but experienced the Googlers’ silence in the team’s chat room.

“It was just really eerie and sinister,” she said. “You would see them pop up and see what was written … We knew they were there.” Miller stressed that she did not blame the Google employees but rather the management for creating the two-tier system.

A 32-year-old writer from Brooklyn, Miller said that she and the other TVCs on the team were inspired to protest against their treatment by Google by recent worker organizing in digital media.

“We read about how folks at Buzzfeed rallied to get vacation payment and sick days for people laid off,” she said. “We don’t have sick days and vacations, so there’s not much we can ask for except for asking for our contracts to be respected.”

That desire for respect defines the letter’s three demands. The TVCs asked Google to “respect our contracts” by paying out the remaining length of contracts for those whose terms were shortened; “respect our humanity” by allowing FTEs to “openly empathize” with fired TVCs; and “respect our work” by converting TVCs to full-time status.

After the letter began circulating inside Google on 27 March, a Google manager did respond to the second demand, telling Google FTEs in an email, “I know many of you work with our temps and it’s important that you feel able to express your compassion for them, so please do.”

“That’s a win,” said Miller of the email from management. “It’s not a policy change. But it’s a win.

“The fight isn’t contract workers against full-time workers, the fight is workers against the company. We’re all unfairly treated if one of us is.”

After publication of this article, Google announced to TVCs and FTEs by email that it would be implementing new “minimum standards” for temps and vendors in the United States.


In the coming years, Google will require staffing agencies and suppliers to provide US-based employees who work at least 33 hours a week for Google with:

A minimum wage of $15 an hour

Comprehensive health insurance

A minimum of eight paid sick days

12 weeks of paid parental leave

$5,000 per year in tuition reimbursement for skills training and higher education


“While most of our partner companies do the right thing, we want to hold them and ourselves to a high standard,” said Eileen Naughton, Google’s vice-president for people operations, in an email announcing the changes to staff.

While the current changes are limited to the US, the company will plan to “identify and address areas of potential improvement in other areas of the world” in the future, Naughton wrote.

The minimum wage requirement will go into effect on 1 January 2020, while the other benefits will not be required until 1 January 2022. Facebook implemented a $15-an-hour minimum wage for contractors and vendors, as well as 15 days of paid time off, in May 2015.

“We wish it was as easy as flipping a switch and turning this on tomorrow,” wrote Adrienne Crowther, Google’s director of extended workforce solutions in a separate email to TVCs. “We ask for your patience through implementation.”

A Google spokeswoman said that the changes had been “in the works for a while” and that the company expected most suppliers to be in compliance with the new standards by 2020.

One of the fired Google Assistant personality TVCs responded to the announcement with some disappointment, noting that it did not change their situation:

“Google didn’t mention anything regarding the three demands we asked for,” she said. “This change means nothing to us.”

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Old 04-04-19, 17:14   #3
 
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Oh Crap! Re: Google Global Outages/Staff Rebel + Google's Tax Evasion

Google's 3,600 UK Staff Each Earned An Average of £226,000 Last Year - While The Tech Giant Paid Just £67m in Corporation Tax Despite Revenues of £1.4bn in Britain

  • The web giant paid out almost £350million in bonuses from its stock scheme
  • Bumper payout rose from £219million after a strong financial performance
  • But the tech firm paid just £67million in corporation tax, figures have revealed
  • Online web giants are facing ongoing scrutiny over efforts to reduce tax bills
Daily Mail UK, 3 APR 2019.


Google's employees in the UK were paid an average of £226,000 each last year while the tech giant paid just £67million in corporation tax.

The web giant handed out almost £350million in bonuses from a company stock scheme after enjoying a surge in revenue.


Staff numbers in Britain jumped by almost 400 to 3658 last year, with those in management, marketing and research and development said to have benefited from the bumper payouts.

It comes as online giants like Google, as well as Facebook and Amazon face continued scrutiny over their efforts to reduce their tax bills.






Google employees in the UK were paid an average of £226,000 last year thanks to a bumper stock scheme payout, it has emerged


They footed an £829million wage and salary bill for the year to June 30 - a 26 per cent increase on the £656million paid to staff in 2017, according to financial figures seen by The Guardian.

The pot of money to be paid out from the stock scheme surged by more than 50 per cent from £219million to £342million thanks to a rising share price and strong financial performance, it is reported.

But accounts also show Google paid £66.8m in UK corporation tax, up from £49.7m, as pretax profits rose from £200m to £246m.

Google UK reported £1.4bn in revenues last year, up from £1.2bn, but this does not reflect how much it makes in advertising revenues as they are reported in other jurisdictions.

Corporation tax in the UK is set at 19 per cent of a company's profits, but in reality they appear to be paying far less than that.


Multinational firms often slash their tax bills by funnelling UK profit through low-tax jurisdictions including Ireland, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.



This can be done perfectly legally by paying interest on debt or channelling fees to companies outside the UK for use of the company name or its technology.

In October, Facebook revealed it paid just £7.4m in net in tax in the UK on £1.3bn of British sales,

Amazon paid only £4.5m in UK tax despite reporting sales of £8.7bn.

Apple UK paid only £10m in tax on British sales of £1.2bn.






Google (stock photo) paid out almost £350million in bonuses from a company stock scheme to its UK staff after enjoying a surge in revenue


Google says it was 'investing significantly in the UK' including a new 11-storey building in King's Cross.

The building will create a Google office with the potential to house 7,000 employees, the company has said.

Google's European headquarters are in Dublin where corporate taxes are lower than in the UK.

In 2016 the Government came to an agreement with the internet giant which saw £130 million paid in back taxes covering the previous decade.

In his October Budget last year, Philip Hammond unveiled a 'digital services tax' on large online firms that will take effect from April 2020.

Under the plans, social media platforms, search engines and online marketplaces will pay a two per cent tax on the revenues they earn which are linked to UK users.

The Chancellor said he hoped to raise more than £400million a year as a result of the new tax.

In the U.S. Google's parent company Alphabet paid 12.3 per cent in the first three quarters of 2018, a large reduction from the previous year.

Meanwhile Facebook's UK tax bill rose to £15.8 million last year on record revenues of £1.3 billion.

A spokesman for Google said:

'As an international business, we pay the majority of our taxes in our home country, as well as all the taxes due in the UK.

'We are investing significantly in the UK, including starting work on our new offices in King’s Cross for 7,000 staff.'

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