Hundreds of Google employees oppose mandatory vaccines even if incentives are given

Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. EPA Yonhap News file photo

Hundreds of Google’s employees protested the company’s compulsory COVID-19 vaccine.

They are strongly opposed to the company’s offer of an incentive of 5,000 dollars (about 6 million won) to those who have been vaccinated to encourage them to be vaccinated.

According to a report by CNBC, an American economic media outlet, on the 23rd (local time), hundreds of Google employees signed and distributed a statement opposing the company’s ‘compulsory COVID-19 vaccine’.

The statement was reportedly signed by at least 600 Google employees. The statement urged executives to withdraw the vaccine mandate and establish a new health policy that embraces all Google employees.

Employees who joined the statement appealed to other employees “to oppose the mandatory vaccination as a ‘problem of principle’.”

According to a statement obtained by CNBC, the authors criticized Sundar Pichai’s vaccine mandate as “seriously flawed and coercive by the company’s management.”

They said, “The compulsory vaccination is the opposite of ‘inclusion’. The same goes for vaccinations.”

Google is planning to return to the office three times a week from the second week of January next year. The company has instructed its employees to enter the vaccination status into the company system and upload the vaccination certificate by the 3rd of next month.

Protesters oppose mandatory vaccination in front of New York City Hall in August. Not directly related to the content of the article. AFP/Getty Images Yonhap News

The company is promoting a policy that employees who have not been vaccinated will not be able to return to the office and will have to work from home. The company has specifically ordered that employees working on contracts with the U.S. government be vaccinated unconditionally, even if they choose to work from home.

In a statement, employees were concerned that “banning unvaccinated people from working in offices would openly expose their individual choices (not getting vaccinated).”

“Google’s vaccine mandate, which employs more than 150,000 people, could have a major impact on other American companies,” he said in an open letter to Karen DiSalvo, the company’s chief health officer.

Despite the opposition from these employees, a Google spokesperson told CNBC that “compulsory vaccines are one of the most important means to keep our workforce safe and continue to operate our services.”

In addition, Google’s vice president of data centers, Joe Kaba, encouraged employees to vaccinate against COVID-19 by announcing a $5,000 incentive to vaccinate employees.

But as more than 600 Google employees oppose the company’s action, it’s unclear whether the company’s action will be successful.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered businesses with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or routinely tested for COVID-19 by January 4 next year, but a court has put a brake on the enforcement of the order.

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