Google Terminates Employment of 28 Employees Involved in Protesting its Agreements with Israel

28, Contracts, Fires, Google, Israel, Protested, Workers

Google recently terminated 28 employees who were associated with protests against the company’s $1.2 billion cloud computing contracts with the Israeli government. This move by Google follows the arrests of nine employees for trespassing in the company’s offices during a sit-in protest. While Google claims that these protests hindered other employees’ work, the protesters argue that they have the right to peacefully express their concerns about labor conditions.

The No Tech for Apartheid movement, which opposes big tech’s cooperation with Israel, expressed outrage at Google’s decision to terminate the employees. They argue that this act of retaliation shows that Google prioritizes its contract with the Israeli government over the well-being of its workers. In a statement, a spokesperson for the movement criticized Google’s actions and emphasized the importance of allowing employees to protest and voice their concerns.

Google’s head of global security, Chris Rackow, sent a memo to all employees condemning the behavior of the protesters. He stated that their actions have no place in the workplace and that defacing Google’s property and making coworkers feel threatened will not be tolerated. Rackow made it clear that Google expects employees to adhere to the company’s policies and that violations will not be overlooked.

Google refutes the claims that the cloud computing contracts with Israel are related to highly sensitive military workloads. However, a report by Time suggests that Google provides cloud computing services to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and has deepened its partnership with Israel during times of conflict, such as the war in Gaza. This raises concerns among employees and activist groups who believe that such cooperation indirectly supports actions that may violate human rights.

The recent firings are not the first instances of employees being terminated for protesting against Google’s contracts with Israel. Eddie Hatfield, a Google software engineer, was fired after disrupting an Israeli tech conference by shouting, “No tech for apartheid!” during a speech by a Google executive. The reasons for the worker firings are disputed, with Google citing “bullying” and “harassment,” while the protesters argue that their demonstrations were peaceful and that they themselves feel bullied by Google’s response.

The No Tech for Apartheid movement has gained momentum within Google and Amazon, with support from thousands of colleagues within the two tech giants. The movement’s protests in New York and California have attracted significant numbers of participants, highlighting the growing concern among employees about their companies’ involvement with controversial governments. The movement plans to continue protesting until Google drops its Project Nimbus contract with the Israeli government.

In conclusion, the recent termination of 28 Google employees associated with protests against the company’s cloud computing contracts with the Israeli government has sparked controversy. The No Tech for Apartheid movement argues that Google prioritizes its business interests over the concerns of its workers, while Google maintains that the protests disrupted work and violated company policies. This incident reflects the growing tension between employees and tech companies when it comes to cooperating with governments involved in human rights controversies.

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