Google fired 28 workers who protested Israeli government cloud contract

Google has fired 28 employees involved in protests against the company’s “Project Nimbus” cloud contract with the Israeli government, according to an internal memo seen by The Verge. That follows the arrest and suspension of nine employees on April 16 and a previous firing related to the same project last month.

Some of the fired workers were forcibly removed after occupying the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian. Google head of global security Chris Rackow said that the company “will not tolerate” such incidences and warned that the company could take further action.

“If you’re one of the few who are tempted to think we’re going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again,” he told employees in a letter. “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.”

Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it. 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.

However, workers in the “No Tech for Apartheid” group organizing the protests called the dismissals “a flagrant act of retaliation.” It added that the Google saying protests largely involve people not working at the company is “insulting,” adding that the push to drop Project Nimbus is supported by “thousands” of their colleagues.

“In the three years that we have been organizing against Project Nimbus, we have yet to hear from a single executive about our concerns,” it wrote in a Medium post. “Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor. These firings were clearly retaliatory.”

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