May 23, 2024

Technology Giant, Google has fired about than two dozen employees for protesting  against the company’s cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.

The workers were dismissed after an investigation found that they had staged protests inside Google’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California. In Sunnyvale, they entered the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, according to a post on social media by the group that organized the demonstration, No Tech For Apartheid.

Protesters held banners that read “No More Genocide For Profit” and “We Stand with Palestinian, Arab and Muslim Googlers.”

A Google spokesperson told CNN Thursday that the protests “were part of a long-standing campaign by a group of organizations and people who largely don’t work” at the company.

“A small number of employee protesters entered and disrupted a few of our locations. Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior. After refusing multiple requests to leave the premises, law enforcement was engaged to remove them to ensure office safety,” the spokesperson added.

“We have so far concluded individual investigations that resulted in the termination of employment for 28 employees, and will continue to investigate and take action as needed.”

Google and Amazon have a $1.2 billion contract to provide cloud computing services to the Israeli government and military, known as Project Nimbus, according to No Tech For Apartheid, who have strongly condemned the dismissals.

“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 group said in a statement published on Medium Thursday.

Israel has rejected claims it is committing genocide in Gaza, arguing that it is fighting its war against Hamas in self-defense. Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking more than 250 hostages.
Google Cloud and Israel

Google Cloud’s contract with the Israeli government dates back to 2021, when the company announced that it had been chosen to provide “public cloud services to help address the country’s challenges within the public sector, including in healthcare, transportation, and education.”

But the protests followed a report in Time magazine earlier this month, citing an internal company document, that Israel’s Ministry of Defense is a Google Cloud customer. (CNN)

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