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How Big Was Oracle’s Virtual Walkout Protesting Trump Fundraiser?

‘I think that if you're part of Oracle, you're there to make money. No one ever joins Oracle to save the planet or get Democrats elected,’ one Oracle partner tells CRN.

About 300 Oracle employees stopped working Thursday in protest of Executive Chairman Larry Ellison’s fundraiser for President Donald Trump a day earlier, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

The job action was organized by a group called Employees for Ethics, which said it was looking to counter Ellison’s support for an administration with policies it sees as antithetical to Oracle’s Code of Conduct and Ethics.

Earlier in the week, the group suggested Oracle employees around the world log-out at noon Pacific as part of a No Ethics/No Work protest and volunteer or donate to efforts that resist Trump administration policies on the day after their boss hosted the president and his donors on a golf course in the Southern California desert.

[Related: Oracle Founder Larry Ellison’s Trump Fundraiser: 5 Things To Know]

Employees for Ethics did not respond to CRN requests for their assessment of the extent of participation in the walkout. Oracle also declined to respond.

Bloomberg News cited one anonymous person who participated in the job action as its source for the tally of 300 participants.

While a few took to Twitter Thursday to proclaim their participation in the No Ethics/No Work day, even for Oracle employees it was hard to get a sense of the numbers. That was especially true because the action was to take place around the world, and as such, Employees for Ethics envisioned more of a log-off of remote workers than a walkout.

One Oracle partner told CRN he had talked by phone for other reasons to a dozen Oracle executives across the country the same day—and got the sense few employees were going along with the log-off plan.

“They didn't mention a single person was walking off today or tomorrow and they didn't say a single person from any of their teams were,” the partner said.

Unlike other Silicon Valley powerhouses that have seen employee walkouts in protest of their policies, Oracle is simply not a hotbed of political activism. The culture is very different from tech companies such as Salesforce and Google.

“In all honesty, people like to complain,” the partner said. But “I think that if you're part of Oracle, you're there to make money. No one ever joins Oracle to save the planet or get Democrats elected.”

The partner noted that Oracle CEO Safra Catz has been a longtime Trump supporter, “so this really isn't anything new.”

Regardless of the culture, Employees for Ethics said on its website that Ellison’s support for Trump went against Oracle’s core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.

“This bold, public display harms our brand, as both a service provider and as a global employer,” the employee group said.

Catz has been one of the few high-profile leaders of a major technology company seemingly on very good terms with Trump. She was a member of Trump’s transition team—a position that provoked an Oracle managed cloud services executive to publicly resign from the company after citing his opposition to Trump policies, cabinet picks and rhetoric. She was even reportedly under consideration for Secretary of the Treasury.

But Ellison, among California’s most active political donors in recent years, had never before financially supported President Trump’s political career. In the 2016 election, he was a major donor to Trump opponent Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, eventually pouring $5 million into that failed presidential campaign through a super PAC.

The Trump donors Ellison welcomed to his estate in Rancho Mirage paid either $100,000 to hit the links and take a photo with the president, or $250,000 to also participate in a roundtable with him after the outing. The money they raised will go to a fundraising committee jointly benefitting the Trump campaign and other Republican groups called “Trump Victory”—helping fund Trump’s re-election efforts, the Republican National Committee, state Republican efforts and the party’s national convention.

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