Google fires 28 employees over protest against Israeli contract

The firing of employees by Google sparked outrage and accusations of disproportionate action.

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Google fired 28 employees on Wednesday following their involvement in protests against a cloud-computing contract shared with Amazon by the Israeli government. The termination came after nine employees were arrested during sit-in protests at Google offices in Sunnyvale, California, and New York City. The group, known as No Tech for Apartheid, has been protesting Google’s deal with Israel since 2021, expressing concerns about bolstering government surveillance and discrimination against Palestinians.

In response to the protests, Google stated that the fired employees had ‘physically impeded other employees’ work’ and violated company policies. The company engaged law enforcement to remove protesters from the premises after multiple requests to leave were refused. The fired employees, locked out of their work devices and informed of their termination via email, expressed shock and anger at Google’s decision, calling it a disproportionate response to their advocacy efforts.

Members of the No Tech for Apartheid group are considering legal action against Google for alleged labour law violations. Despite protesters asserting that they did not impede others from working during the sit-in, Google proceeded with terminations. Meanwhile, Amazon, also involved in the contract, witnessed employee participation in the protests without reports of arrests or firings. Amazon has yet to respond to inquiries regarding the situation.