Google’s decision to terminate 28 employees sparked controversy after protests erupted over the company’s cloud contract with the Israeli government. Google’s statement on Medium emphasized employees’ right to peaceful protest regarding labor conditions, stressing the importance of workplace activism in advocating for ethical business practices. However, the company’s swift termination of employees involved in the protest raises questions about the balance between corporate policies and employees’ rights to dissent.

Protest and Termination Over Cloud Contract with the Israeli Government

In response to a small faction of protesting employees disrupting work at unspecified office locations, Google took decisive action, leading to the termination of 28 individuals. The company cited the disruption of work and access to facilities as clear violations of its policies, prompting individual investigations and subsequent terminations.

“After refusing multiple requests to leave the premises, law enforcement was engaged to remove them to ensure office safety,” “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,” a spokesperson said.

Response to the Allegations

The No Tech for Apartheid campaign, affiliated with protesting Google workers, condemned the terminations as “flagrant retaliation.” Allegations surfaced suggesting that the Project Nimbus contract, worth $1.2 billion, supports the development of military tools by the Israeli government. Google, however, reiterated that the contract does not involve sensitive or military-related workloads, emphasizing its commitment to ethical business practices.

Despite Google’s assertions, the protesting faction maintains that such contracts indirectly contribute to military endeavors, sparking concerns about the ethical implications of tech giants engaging in government partnerships. The incident echoes past protests within Google, notably the successful pushback against Project Maven in 2018, highlighting the growing activism within tech companies regarding their involvement in governmental contracts with potential military applications.

Read more: Google Employee was Reportedly Forced to Quit After Opposing Deal with Israel


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