Google terminates 28 employees for protest of Israeli cloud agreement

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Google announced on Thursday that it had terminated 28 employees following protests against the company’s cloud contract with the Israeli government. The Alphabet unit stated that a small number of protesting employees disrupted work at unspecified office locations.


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


The company conducted individual investigations and subsequently terminated the employment of the 28 individuals involved. It also stated its commitment to continue investigating and taking appropriate action as necessary.


In response, Google workers affiliated with the No Tech for Apartheid campaign called the terminations a “flagrant act of retaliation.” They noted that some employees who did not directly participate in the protests were also among those fired.


“Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor,” the statement from the protesting faction added.

The protests centered around Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract awarded to Google and in 2021 to provide cloud services to the Israeli government. The protesting employees argued that the contract supports the development of military tools by the Israeli government.


However, Google maintained that the Nimbus contract “is not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.”


This is not the first time Google has faced internal dissent. In 2018, employees successfully pressured the company to cancel a contract with the U.S. military for Project Maven, which aimed to analyze aerial drone imagery potentially for military applications.

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