Google fires 20 more workers amid Israeli contract protests

As debates rage on regarding corporate responsibility and workplace activism, Google’s latest decision to terminate 20 more employees amidst protests over its Israeli contract underscores the complex intersection of business interests and social issues within tech companies.

Google building

Organisators of the demonstrations confirmed that Google has fired an additional 20 employees in response to protests over its cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government. This brings the total number of terminated workers to 50. The group leading the protests, ‘No Tech for Apartheid’, expressed concern that some fired employees were bystanders rather than active participants in the protests, labelling the mass firings as retaliatory.

Confirming the terminations, a Google spokesperson stated that an investigation into disruptions during the protests on 16 April had concluded. The spokesperson emphasised that all dismissed employees were directly involved in disruptive activities within the company’s premises. In response, the worker group vowed to continue their activism within Google, denouncing the company’s actions as an attempt to suppress dissent.

The firings come amidst a broader societal debate over corporate responsibility and workplace activism, particularly regarding issues such as the US government and business support for Israel. CEO Sundar Pichai recently urged Google employees to refrain from discussing politics in the workplace, emphasising the company’s focus on business matters.

The situation underscores tensions between corporate interests and employee activism, raising questions about the boundaries of free expression and dissent within tech companies like Google.