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Google fires 28 employees involved in protest of Israeli cloud contract

18 April 2024 05:00 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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April 18 - Google has fired 28 workers after dozens of employees participated in sit-ins at the company’s New York and Sunnyvale, California, offices to protest the company’s cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.

A day earlier, nine employees were arrested on charges of trespassing at the two offices.

“Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Years before the dismissals, tensions had been simmering between the company’s management and some activist employees over Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion Google and Amazon deal to supply the Israeli government with cloud services, such as artificial intelligence.

That discord had deepened since the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip began in October. Google recently fired an employee who disrupted an Israeli technology conference in New York. And the company is even planning to make changes to a corporate forum because employees were bickering about the conflict.

Google said it would continue to investigate the Tuesday protests. In Sunnyvale, employees refused to leave the office of Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud.

Google employees affiliated with the group that organized the sit-ins, called No Tech For Apartheid, said in a statement that the firings were “a flagrant act of retaliation.”

“Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor,” the employees said. They added that some of the employees Google fired had not participated in the sit-ins.

The Nimbus contract, announced in 2021, was to supply various Israeli government ministries with cloud software. Since the contract’s inception, some Google employees have expressed concern that the company was aiding Israel’s military.

A Google spokesperson said that Nimbus “is not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.”

In 2018, Google workers successfully pushed the company to end a deal with the U.S. Defense Department. Called Project Maven, it would have helped the military analyze drone videos.

Employees who have taken part in Nimbus activism said in their statement that they would continue protesting “until the company drops Project Nimbus.”


  Comments - 16

  • Sokrates Thursday, 18 April 2024 05:17 PM

    Completely correct. The boss determines company policy and no employee has a say. Anyone who cannot reconcile this company policy with their conscience must simply resign.

    Gert Jan, the Netherlands Thursday, 18 April 2024 11:20 PM

    In my opinion these employees have the right to hold Google accountable for the misuse of Nimbus. An European company usually has a workscouncil, hopefully Google has a democratic policy.

    Commonsense Friday, 19 April 2024 02:37 PM

    Well done google. Discipline must be maintained for higher standards. These leftist workers are ruining this world.

    Jabilo Thursday, 18 April 2024 05:19 PM

    Well, do they protest against cloud services for prone as they do against hosting for military activities?

    sunil Thursday, 18 April 2024 05:37 PM

    check how many of these protestors are migrants

    EMPLOYEES ARE PAID TO PERFORM FUTIES IN THEIR SPECIALITY, IF YOU FOR SOME REASON WHATEVER DECIDE YOU CANNOT OR DONOT WANT TO DO SO, MY ADVICE RESIGN AND MOVE ON. NEVER TRY TO DICTATE TERMS TO YOUR EMP Thursday, 18 April 2024 07:18 PM

    WHEN ONE WORKS FOR ANY COMPANY, YOU HAVE A JOB DESCRIPTION AND PAID TO PERFORM THOSE DUTIES, IF YOU CANNOT AT ANY POINT OF TIME FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS THEN YOU MUST RESIGN. HOW THE HELLO CN EMPLOYEES TRY TO DICTATE TERMS TO COMPANIES WHO THEY ARE TO SERVICE AND WHAT SERVICES ARE NOT PERMITTED!! I WOULD HAVE FIRED THE LOT TOO.

    G.OOle Thursday, 18 April 2024 08:17 PM

    Good decision.

    Data privacy and democracy Thursday, 18 April 2024 08:38 PM

    This shows the democracy in the so called US and how they are using the world Google users data for their military in support of them and their allies. The would should protest by boycotting the usage of Google apps.

    Gert Jan, the Netherlands Thursday, 18 April 2024 11:05 PM

    I totally agree with you.

    aza Thursday, 18 April 2024 09:59 PM

    On freedom of speech upheld by westerners

    Tissa Fernando Friday, 19 April 2024 03:48 AM

    Freedom of speech does not cone with the right to disturb or disrupt public or commercial activities.

    dinesh Thursday, 18 April 2024 11:34 PM

    google on the wrong side of history....

    Rajan V Pillai Friday, 19 April 2024 06:48 AM

    When your clients are Global, Problems will come from all parts of the World.

    Dee Friday, 19 April 2024 06:50 AM

    Very good! SL private companies should do the same. People who support subversives should be thrown out!

    Natural instinct of purity of human nature Friday, 19 April 2024 08:17 AM

    When you see a wrong being committed, and keep silent, you are a participant in that crime. If you cannot stop the crime, at least hate it. This is weakest part of your determination.

    Fatima Lai Friday, 19 April 2024 10:51 AM

    It's like pouring oil on fire, G already started to see its downfall because of AI dominance.


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