June 22, 2024

After firing more than two dozen employees last week following protests against its cloud computing contract with the Israeli government, Google has fired more than 20 additional workers, according to the group that organized the sit-ins.

No Tech for Apartheid said Monday on X that the tech giant had “engaged in retaliation” against more than 20 additional employees, “including non-participating bystanders” at last week’s sit-ins at Google offices in New York City and Sunnyvale, California. The group said that brought the total to about 50 “that Google has shamefully retaliated against.”

Google confirmed the additional terminations in a statement. The company said it had continued its investigation into the April 16 protests and had looked “at additional details provided by coworkers who were physically disrupted, as well as those employees who took longer to identify because their identity was partly concealed—like by wearing a mask without their badge—while engaged in the disruption.”

“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,” a Google spokesperson said. “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.”

After the protests, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told workers in a memo not to “fight over disruptive issues or debate politics,” and added that Google parent Alphabet “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.”

The protests last week were just the latest objections by employees to the company’s $1.2 billion cloud computing contract with the Israeli government called Project Nimbus, which it shares with Amazon. In October 2021, Google and Amazon employees wrote an anonymous letter condemning Project Nimbus.

In August 2022, Jewish Google employee Ariel Koren penned a letter to fellow employees saying she was leaving the company; she alleged that Google retaliated against her and other employees who had spoken out in support of Palestine.

The company has also terminated employees who have criticized its relationships amid the war. In March, Google fired a Google Cloud engineer who had protested against Project Nimbus during a keynote speech by Barak Regev, managing director of Google Israel. “I refuse to build technology that powers genocide,” the engineer said.

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