Google Fires Additional Employees Following Protests

April 23, 2024

Every single one of those whose employment was terminated was personally and definitively involved in disruptive activity inside our buildings.

A Google spokesperson regarding the company’s decision to fire employees who participated in protests against a cloud computing deal the company has with Israel’s government.

Why It Matters: The latest high-profile face-off between a major U.S. company and its workers over the war between Israel and Hamas.

Google has fired more than 50 employees since an April 16 sit-in protest at the Google offices in Sunnyvale, California and New York City, according to an activist group that represents the workers. The workers protested a contract Google and Amazon have with the Israeli government out of concern their work could possibly be used in Israel’s war against Hamas. The news of the additional terminations concludes the company’s investigation into the protests, and follows a memo by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai, who said, “ultimately we are a workplace and our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business, and not a place to act in a way that disrupts coworkers or makes them feel unsafe, to attempt to use the company as a personal platform, or to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics.”

“’The corporation is attempting to quash dissent, silence its workers and reassert its power over them,’ said Jane Chung, a spokesperson for No Tech for Apartheid, a group that has protested Google’s and Amazon’s contracts with the Israeli government since 2021″ (The Washington Post).

Big Picture: The Washington Post reports, “The day before the Google sit-ins, activists blocked highways, bridges and airport entrances across the United States to protest the war in Gaza.” In addition, pro-Palestinian protests have been occurring at colleges and universities across the country as students’ protest institutions’ financial ties to Israel and its weapons’ suppliers.

“The protests have pitted students against one another, with pro-Palestinian students demanding that their schools condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza and divest from companies that sell weapons to Israel. Some Jewish students, meanwhile, say much of the criticism of Israel has veered into antisemitism and made them feel unsafe, and they point out that Hamas is still holding hostages taken during the group’s Oct. 7 invasion” (The Associated Press).

Read More: Google fires more workers after CEO says workplace isn’t for politics (The Washington Post)

Google Fires More Workers Over Israeli Cloud Contract Protest After CEO Says Leave Politics At Home (Forbes)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas