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Google fires 28 employees involved in protest over $1.2B Israel contract

Google

Google has fired 28 employees who participated in a 10-hour sit-in at the search giant’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, to protest the company’s business ties with the Israel government.

The pro-Palestinian staff at Google had donned traditional Arab headscarves as they stormed and occupied the office of a top executive in California on Tuesday, April 16.

They were fired late Wednesday, April 17, after an internal investigation, Google vice president of global security Chris Rackow said in a companywide memo.

“They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers,” Rackow wrote in the memo.

“Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened.”

In New York, protesters had occupied the 10th floor of Google’s offices in the Chelsea section of Manhattan as part of a protest that also extended to the company’s offices in Seattle for what it called “No Tech for Genocide Day of Action.”

“Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it,” Rackow wrote.

“It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to – including our code of conduct and policy on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace concerns.”

Rackow added that the company “takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior – up to and including termination.”

The fired staffers are affiliated with a group called No Tech For Apartheid, which has been critical of Google’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.

The impacted workers blasted Google over the firings in a statement shared by No Tech For Apartheid spokesperson Jane Chung.

“This evening, Google indiscriminately fired 28 workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests,” the workers said in the statement.

“This flagrant act of retaliation is a clear indication that Google values its $1.2 billion contract with the genocidal Israeli government and military more than its own workers — the ones who create real value for executives and shareholders.”

“Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian are genocide profiteers,” the statement added, referring to Google’s CEO and the CEO of its cloud unit, respectively.

“We cannot comprehend how these men are able to sleep at night while their tech has enabled 100,000 Palestinians killed, reported missing, or wounded in the last six months of Israel’s genocide — and counting.”

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