Google Has Fired 50 Staff After Protests Over Israel Cloud Deal

Google has fired an additional 20 employees who reportedly took part in last week’s protests against its cloud-computing agreement with the Israeli government, bringing the total dismissals to 50, as reported by the organizers of the protests.

The group leading the protests, No Tech for Apartheid, stated on Monday evening that these dismissals were in addition to the 30 employees Google had already let go the previous week.

No Tech for Apartheid alleges that among those dismissed were individuals who did not participate in the protests but were merely present during the sit-ins at Google’s New York and Sunnyvale, California offices.

A Google spokesperson stated that the company carried out an investigation into the “physical disruption inside our buildings on April 16.

“Our investigation into these events is now concluded, and we have terminated the employment of additional employees who were found to have been directly involved in disruptive activity,” the spokesperson added.

“To reiterate, every single one of those whose employment was terminated was personally and definitively involved in disruptive activity inside our buildings. We carefully confirmed and reconfirmed this.”

Conversely, the protest organizers claim that some of the dismissed employees did not cause any disruptions inside Google’s facilities.

“Google is throwing a tantrum because the company’s executives are embarrassed about the strength workers showed at last Tuesday’s historic sit-ins, as well as their botched response to them,” the No Tech for Apartheid group said in a statement.

“Now, the corporation is lashing out at any worker that was physically in the vicinity of the protest—including those who were not at all involved in the campaign.”

The worker group pledged to continue its activism at Google, aiming to send a clear message to the company’s executives that their efforts will not cease or diminish.

The Google employee protests concerning the company’s cloud-computing agreement with the Israeli government occurred over six months after an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants, which resulted in approximately 1,200 deaths in Israel.

Concurrently, Israel’s retaliatory actions in Gaza have led to at least 34,097 deaths, with the Palestinian health ministry reporting that over 70% of the casualties in Gaza are women and children.

The continued violence in Gaza, resulting in a high number of civilian deaths, has sparked significant controversy in the U.S., leading to widespread protests against American governmental and corporate support for Israel.

In response to the protests at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai sent a memo to employees urging them to exclude politics from the workplace.

The CEO emphasized that Google is a business and not an appropriate venue for actions that disturb colleagues or for engaging in political debates.