U.S. tech employees are collectively taking action like never before in a broad push for better conditions, job security, higher wages and more, The Associated Press reported Sunday.
Despite six-figure salaries and unlimited vacation time, many tech workers have been questioning the effects of their work and joining forces with more blue-collar, service and contract-worker counterparts, pressing for better working conditions and pay.
"It's unprecedented, both the magnitude of the power of these companies and the willingness of white-collar employees to shake themselves the privilege that they have and to really see the impact of the work they're doing," Veena said Dubal, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law who has interviewed the profession of tech workers involved in organizing.
CAL THOMAS: SCHOOLS DON'T TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT FAILURES OF SOCIALISM They're feeling emboldened because of national and global "existential crises" and the realization that tech companies "have more power than any multinational corporation has in a long time," Dubal said.
Among Broader Activism: Amazon and Microsoft employees demand the companies stop providing services to software company Palantir, which provides technology to federal agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US Army; Amazon employees urge company to transition to renewable energy and confronted CEO Jeff Bezos at a shareholder meeting; and, after last year's walkouts over Google's handling of sexual misconduct cases, employees signed a letter protesting Project Dragonfly, a search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship.
The phenomenon has been particularly strong in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to Salesforce, Google and Palantir, among others.
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The bastion of activism and progressive culture has been hit hard by the tech boom's housing affordability crisis.
“There's a lot of power (that) people are being asked to build for shareholders of these companies and the management of these companies, ”said Ian Busher, 28, a former contract analyst for Google and an organizer with the Bay Area chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. “If You Want to Make the World a Better Place, You Should Exercise Judgment and Democracy with People Who Are Working to Build These Tools.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.