Google’s Layoffs Labeled ‘Needless’ By Union as Hundreds of Employees Lose Jobs in Fresh Cuts

Google Building in Seattle

Google is laying off hundreds of its employees in its hardware, voice assistance, and engineering teams. 

“We’ve had to make some difficult decisions about ongoing employment of some Google employees and we regret to inform you that your position is being eliminated,” the company told some workers, per  The New York Times

In a statement, the company said it is “responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead.”

The layoffs will impact the augmented reality hardware team the most. According to 9to5Google, the company previously had distinct leaders managing hardware projects like Fitbit, Nest, and Pixel. After this reorganization, one team is expected to be responsible for overseeing all three products. 

“A few hundred roles are being eliminated in DSPA with the majority of impacts on the 1P AR Hardware team. While we are making changes to our 1P AR hardware team, Google continues to be deeply committed to other AR initiatives, such as AR experiences in our products, and product partnerships,” the technology company said in a statement to 9to5Google.

The Alphabet Workers Union responded to the layoffs on X, saying: “Tonight, Google began another round of needless layoffs. Our members and teammates work hard every day to build great products for our users, and the company cannot continue to fire our coworkers while making billions every quarter. We won’t stop fighting until our jobs are safe!”

In response, a Google spokesperson told TIME via email: We’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead. To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities.”

The past years have seen a number of major layoffs at Google. In Jan. 2023, the company cut 12,000 roles from its staff. “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in a statement on Google’s blog in January 2023.

“We’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review.”

News of Google’s most recent round of layoffs comes one day after Amazon laid off hundreds of Prime video and Twitch employees. In recent months, there has been a series of tech layoffs. Spotify let go of 17% of its workforce in December and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, laid off 20,000 employees over the course of 2023.

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