Global HR headlines: Netflix branded transphobic; Facebook looks for ‘the metaverse’ skills

US unions are making their presence felt.

As Facebook looks to the highly-skilled to build ‘the metaverse’, Netflix comes under fire from its employees for being transphobic. Apple takes a tough stance against an employee who has urged a speak up culture at the multinational tech giant, and US union leaders push for more employee gains and increase in membership.

Facebook looks for skills to build ‘the metaverse’
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform.
The company said in a blog post that those high-skilled workers will help build “the metaverse”, a futuristic notion for connecting people online that encompasses augmented and virtual reality.

Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet as they also contend with other matters such as anti-trust crackdowns, the testimony of whistleblowing former employees and concerns about how the company handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform, reports AP.

Employees see Netflix as transphobic
Netflix has been plunged into America’s culture wars by a Dave Chappelle comedy special that raises concerns about free speech and censorship, but which has also been slammed by its own employees as transphobic.

In The Closer, boundary-pushing mega-star Chappelle responds to critics who have accused him of mocking transgender people in the past by asserting that “gender is a fact” and accusing LGBTQ people of being “too sensitive”, reports AFP.

While the show has been condemned by LGBTQ groups, Netflix has so far stood firm, insisting the show will not be taken down.

Apple fires employee who urged workers to speak up
Apple has fired an employee who helped lead a movement encouraging workers to share their concerns about the tech giant.

Janneke Parrish is not at the company anymore, according to employment discrimination attorney Vincent White.

Parrish was fired after she removed apps and files from her work devices during an internal probe, according to the Verge. It’s unclear what sparked the review of Parrish, but it’s possible that the former employee speaking to the media led to the investigation, reports Bloomberg.

Big push from US unions
American union leaders are pressing to increase their ranks and secure gains for their members as workers demand more from their employers and companies struggle with labour shortages and snarled supply chains, reports The Wall Street Journal.

A number of companies are already experiencing the results of this approach, with a walkout by production workers for farm and construction machinery company Deere, following stoppages at snack producer Mondelez, commercial truck maker Volvo and breakfast-cereal giant Kellogg.

Union officials said workers are motivated by lingering frustration over their hours, pay and concerns for their health as some have held front-line jobs through the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees this year have pushed for higher wages, expanded benefits, safer workplaces and added staffing.