Google has fired 50 employees after protests over Israel cloud deal, organizers say

Google has fired an additional 20 workers that it says were involved in protests last week over the company’s cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government, bringing the total number of workers fired to 50, according to the group organizing the demonstrations.

No Tech for Apartheid, the organizers of the protest at Google offices last Tuesday, said in a statement Monday evening that Google had fired an additional 20 workers, on top of the 30 workers terminated last week.

No Tech for Apartheid claims that some of the workers fired were “non-participating bystanders” during last Tuesday’s sit-in protests at Google’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, and not actively involved in the workplace activism. The statement decried the mass firings as “an aggressive and desperate act of retaliation” by the tech giant.

A Google spokesperson declined to share exactly how many workers had been terminated because of the protests but confirmed additional firings had taken place in a statement to CNN on Tuesday morning.

Google had conducted an investigation into the “physical disruption inside our buildings on April 16,” the spokesperson said. “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 Google 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,” the Google spokesperson said.

The organizers of the protest, meanwhile, say that some of the workers fired did not cause any disruption inside Google offices.

“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 also vowed to continue its workplace activism at Google, saying they hope to send a message to company executives that: “We will not stop fighting, and we will not back down.”

The protests from Google workers over the company’s cloud-computing deal with the Israeli government come more than six months since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants left some 1,200 dead in Israel, and as Israel’s counteroffensive attacks in Gaza have now killed at least 34,097 people in Gaza, according to the latest tally from the Palestinian health ministry. More than 70% of those killed in Gaza have been women and children, according to the ministry.

The ongoing civilian carnage in Gaza has deeply divided the American public, and massive protests over US government and business support for Israel have erupted on college campuses and across corporate America in recent weeks.

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