Google fires 20 more workers who protested $1.2bn Israel contract: ‘Ultimately we are a workplace’

The protests took place inside Google’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California

Vishwam Sankaran,Katie Hawkinson
Tuesday 23 April 2024 18:38 BST
Google Fires Employees for Protesting Israel Contract

Google has fired more employees who protested against its $1.2bn contract with Israel, the company confirmed to The Independent on Tuesday.

The company declined to say how many employees had been let go but The Washington Post reported that the number is around 20.

This is on top of the 28 employees who lost their jobs last week after staging demonstrations, bringing the total to nearly 50.

“Our investigation into these events is now concluded, and we have terminated the employment of additional employees who were found to have been directly involved in disruptive activity,” a Google spokesperson told The Independent on Tuesday.

The protests took place inside Google’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California on 16 April with workers demanding that the company end its huge cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.

In Sunnyvale, the staff entered Google Cloud boss Thomas Kurian’s office, according to No Tech For Apartheid, the group which organised the demonstration.

Google employees protest company's work with Israel

“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 behaviour,” a Google spokesperson said last week.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai had warned employees that while debate and discussions are encouraged, there were limits, and the office is not a place “to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics” in a company blog post.

“We have a culture of vibrant, open discussion that enables us to create amazing products and turn great ideas into action...But ultimately we are a workplace and our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business,” he said.

No Tech for Apartheid has claimed that Google “indiscriminately fired” workers, including those who did not directly participate in protests.

Pro-Palestine protests have swept the United States in recent weeks including at a number of university campuses like Yale, Columbia and MIT.

The protests are in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza which have left more than 33,000 people dead, according to the Palestinian health ministry. On 7 October, 2023, Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 200 hostages.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in