About 300 Oracle employees have staged a virtual walkout over their founder and chairman’s support for President Donald Trump.
Oracle employees were outraged when they found out that Big Tech billionaire Larry Ellison was hosting a pro-Trump fundraiser at his estate. On Thursday, Feb. 20 a protest was launched in response to a petition signed by thousands of employees. The protest, as Protocol summarized, “asked employees to log off and spend the rest of the day contributing to causes such as immigration, gender equity or the environment.”
The website, “Employees for Ethics,” featured the employees’ plan for action: “What we’re proposing: No Ethics / No Work.” It went on to specify that “On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the day after the planned fundraiser, we suggest all employees log off at noon local time.” To spite Oracle’s association with President Trump, it instead suggested that workers “spend time volunteering or donating to programs and efforts that aim to resist administration policies that go against Oracle’s Code of Conduct and Ethics policies.”
While the company reportedly has not addressed this protest publicly, it allegedly prevented some employees from being able to access the worker-action website, with the warning “Access to this site may not be permitted by the Oracle Acceptable Use Policy.”
The company reportedly denied banning access to the website. Spokesperson Deborah Hellinger said, “The site was not intentionally blocked by Oracle,” but apparently “was temporarily blocked by a ‘false positive’ from our McAfee network security and antivirus software.”
A petition signed by 8,736 employees at the time of this piece’s publishing made the rounds within the company, stating that “alliance with this ignoble and destructive figure damages our company” and went on to explain how Trump does not reflect the company’s values.
The petition went on to claim that “There’s been an increase in hate crimes with reports linking the crimes to Trump’s words and actions,” and that “More and more students are being bullied using Trump’s words and rhetoric.”
The petition specifically went after Ellison, claiming that his actions were harming the company:
“Larry Ellison’s personal implicit endorsement and financial support of Donald Trump not only damages our brand perception and misrepresents the diverse views of our company, but it adversely affects the morale of the individuals and communities who comprise Oracle. We are signing this petition because we want our voices heard and we refuse to be complacent and complicit in Larry Ellison’s support of such a divisive person.”