Google fires 28 workers over protest against deal with Israel

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Google has terminated the employment of 28 workers who participated in protests against the company’s “Project Nimbus” cloud contract with the Israeli government, according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge.

This action follows the arrest and suspension of nine employees on April 16, as well as a previous dismissal related to the same project last month.

Several of the terminated employees were forcibly removed after staging a sit-in at the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.

Chris Rackow, Google’s head of global security, emphasized that the company “will not tolerate” such behavior and cautioned that further measures could be taken.

“If you’re one of the few who are tempted to think we’re going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again,” Rackow stated in a letter to employees.

“The company takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior — up to and including termination.”

Rackow reiterated that such conduct contradicts multiple company policies, including the Code of Conduct and Policies on Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, Standards of Conduct, and Workplace Concerns. He emphasized that such behavior has no place in the workplace and will not be tolerated.

However, the “No Tech for Apartheid” group, which organized the protests, condemned the dismissals as “a flagrant act of retaliation.”

They argued that Google’s claim that protests primarily involved individuals not employed by the company is “insulting,” asserting that thousands of their colleagues support the campaign to end Project Nimbus.

“In the three years that we have been organizing against Project Nimbus, we have yet to hear from a single executive about our concerns,” the group stated in a Medium post.

“Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor. These firings were clearly retaliatory.”

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