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The Google building is seen in New York, Feb. 26, 2024. Google has fired 28 employees who were involved in protests over the tech company’s cloud computing contract with the Israeli government, according to statements from the company and campaigners, Thursday, April 18. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

OAN’s James Meyers
8:26 AM – Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tech giant Google has fired 28 employees over their participation in a 10-hour sit-in protest at the company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, over the ties Google has with the Israeli government. 

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The pro-Palestine employees, who wore traditional Arab head scarves as they stormed through and took over the top executive’s office in California on Tuesday were fired late Wednesday after an internal investigation, according to a memo sent out by Google vice president of global security Chris Rackow. 

“They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers,” Rackow wrote in the memo obtained by the New York Post. “Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened.”

“Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it,” Rackow wrote. “It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to — including our code of conduct and policy on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace concerns.”

The terminated staff were protesting “Project Nimbus,” Google’s $1.2 billion joint contract with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, which provides services to Israel’s government. 

“Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and we will investigate and take action,” a Google spokesperson said. “These employees were put on administrative leave, and their access to our systems was cut.”

Additionally, the fired staff were affiliated with a group called No Tech For Apartheid, which has been highly critical of the tech giant’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. 

The pro-Palestine group posted several livestream videos and photos of the protests on its X account, which showed the precise moment that employees were issued final warnings and arrested by police for trespassing on the property. 

In stunning fashion, the fired workers claimed that Google indiscriminately terminated them. 

“This evening, Google indiscriminately fired 28 workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests,” the workers said in the statement.

“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 ones who create real value for executives and shareholders.”

“Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian are genocide profiteers,” the statement added, referring to Google’s CEO and the CEO of its cloud unit, respectively.

“We cannot comprehend how these men are able to sleep at night while their tech has enabled 100,000 Palestinians killed, reported missing, or wounded in the last six months of Israel’s genocide — and counting.”

Furthermore, an NYPD spokesperson stated that the protest “involved approximately 50 participants” in total and four arrests were made. 

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety said the protest in California “consisted of around 80 participants.” Five protestors who refused to leave the Google office were “arrested without incident for criminal trespassing,” booked and released, a spokesperson added.

You can read Rackow’s full memo below:

Googlers,

You may have seen reports of protests at some of our offices yesterday. Unfortunately, a number of employees brought the event into our buildings in New York and Sunnyvale. They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers. Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made coworkers feel threatened. We placed employees involved under investigation and cut their access to our systems. Those who refused to leave were arrested by law enforcement and removed from our offices.

Following investigation, today we terminated the employment of twenty-eight employees found to be involved. We will continue to investigate and take action as needed.

Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it. It clearly violates multiple policies that all employees must adhere to — including our Code of Conduct and Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, Standards of Conduct, and Workplace Concerns.

We are a place of business and every Googler is expected to read our policies and apply them to how they conduct themselves and communicate in our workplace. The overwhelming majority of our employees do the right thing. If you’re one of the few who are tempted to think we’re going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again. The company takes this extremely seriously, and we will continue to apply our longstanding policies to take action against disruptive behavior — up to and including termination.

You should expect to hear more from leaders about standards of behavior and discourse in the workplace.

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