Google laid off additional employees after last week's protest, the group says

Google laid off additional employees this week after initially firing 28 people it said took part in recent protests against the company's work in Israel.

The total number of employees laid off in the wake of the protests – which took place at Google offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California – has grown to more than 50 people, with more than 20 people being ousted on Monday evening, the No. said. Tech for Apartheid Campaign, the advocacy group that organized the sit-ins.

Google confirmed in a statement that the company has cut additional employees as a result of the investigation into the protests, but did not say how many. The spokesperson said it took more time to identify some participants because their faces were hidden by masks and they were not wearing their employee badges.

“Our investigation into these events is now complete and we have terminated the employment of additional employees who were found to be directly involved in disruptive activities,” the company said. “Again, everyone whose employment was terminated was personally and definitively involved in disruptive activities in our buildings. We have carefully confirmed and reconfirmed this.”

The protest group has previously condemned the firings, claiming that some of the terminated protesters did not directly participate in the events, a claim Google strongly disputed.

“Google is throwing a tantrum because the company's executives are ashamed of the power workers on display during last Tuesday's historic sit-ins, and their failed response to them,” No Tech for Apartheid Campaign said in a statement. “Now the company is lashing out at every employee who was physically near the protest – including those who were not involved in the campaign at all.”

On April 16, the campaign held rallies outside Google offices. Dozens of employees spent hours in sit-ins in the New York City and Sunnyvale locations, and nine people were arrested for trespassing.

The campaign urges the company to cancel its cloud computing contract with the Israeli government and army, called Project Nimbus. The group said it will continue to demand that Google drop Project Nimbus, protect Palestinian, Arab and Muslim workers and rehire the laid-off workers.

Following the protests and sit-ins, Google said last week it had fired its first 28 employees for violating the company's policies on employee conduct and harassment.

In a blog post Last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote that while it is important to maintain the company's culture of open discussion, Google must maintain a professional workplace.

“[O]Our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business, and not a place where we should act in ways that disrupt or make colleagues feel unsafe, try to use the business as a personal platform, or fight over disruptive issues or to debate politics. ,” Pichai wrote.

Protests in the tech industry have escalated in the wake of Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which began in response to the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas-led militants, in which an estimated 1,200 people were killed and about 240 taken hostage.

More than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in the Israeli air and ground offensive, according to Gaza health officials.

“Google pays us enough not to think too much about what they do, but it wasn't worth it,” Hasan Ibraheem, one of the fired employees, said at a press conference on Monday. “I wanted to support my colleagues who have been harassed for standing up to this project.”

Google has said its technology is used to support numerous governments around the world, including Israel's, and that the Nimbus contract is for work on its commercial cloud network, with Israeli ministries agreeing to adhere to terms of service and acceptable use of Google. policy.

“This work is not focused on highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence,” Google said in a statement.

But former Google employees at the news conference questioned how the company would enforce its terms of service and called for more transparency. They also disputed the classification that they disrupted the work of other employees.

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