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Google fires 50 workers amid protests over Israeli cloud deal

NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT

APRIL 24, 2024: In the midst of escalating tensions surrounding Google’s cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government, the tech giant has terminated an additional 20 employees, bringing the total number of dismissals to 50, reports CNN. The protests, organized by No Tech for Apartheid, erupted following Google’s controversial business dealings with Israel.

The organizers of the demonstrations disclosed on Monday that Google had axed another 20 workers, on top of the 30 previously let go. No Tech for Apartheid criticized the mass firings, alleging that some of the terminated employees were merely bystanders during the protests and not actively engaged in the activism within Google’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California.

Google, in response, declined to specify the exact number of dismissals related to the protests but acknowledged the additional terminations. According to a Google spokesperson, the company conducted an investigation into the disruptions that occurred on April 16 and terminated the employment of individuals directly involved in the disruptive activity.

Despite Google’s assertion that only those directly involved were fired, the organizers of the protests contested this claim, asserting that some of the terminated employees had not caused any disruption within the offices.

“No Tech for Apartheid” condemned Google’s actions as “an aggressive and desperate act of retaliation” and vowed to persist in their workplace activism. They accused Google of reacting harshly due to embarrassment over the strength displayed by workers during the sit-ins and criticized the company’s handling of the protests.

The protests stem from Google’s cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government, amidst ongoing tensions following an attack by Hamas militants that resulted in significant casualties in Israel. The subsequent Israeli counteroffensive in Gaza has further fueled the controversy, with a considerable number of civilian casualties reported.

CEO Sundar Pichai’s recent memo to Google staff urging them to keep “politics” out of the workplace has done little to quell the unrest. Despite Pichai’s plea for employees to refrain from disruptive behavior or political debates, the tensions surrounding Google’s business decisions and their broader societal implications persist.

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