Google fires employees involved in April 16 protest: reports

But organiser says some terminated staff 'non-participating bystanders' to Israeli protest

Google fires employees involved in April 16 protest: reports

Google has confirmed that it terminated employees involved in a workplace protest held last week that called out the tech giant's cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government.

The tech giant confirmed to CNN that it looked into the "physical disruption" held inside the company last April 16.

"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 news outlet.

April 16 protest

Last week, members of No Tech for Apartheid staged a protest in Google's offices to oppose the tech giant's $1.22-billion contract that will reportedly provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military.

"Technology should be used to bring people together, not enable apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and settler-colonialism," the group said on its website.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai slammed the protest on a blog post published last week.

"Ultimately, we are a workplace and our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business, and not a place to act in a way that disrupts co-workers or makes them feel unsafe, to attempt to use the company as a personal platform, or to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics," he said.

Number of terminated staff

The spokesperson did not disclose the number of employees terminated as a result of the investigation, but the protest organiser, No Tech for Apartheid, said a total of 50 staff were sacked.

According to the organiser, however, not all terminated employees were actively involved in workplace activism, and some were "non-participating bystanders."

It accused Google of "throwing a tantrum because the executives" were embarrassed about their employees' actions April 16.

"Now, the corporation is lashing out at any worker that was physically in the vicinity of the protest—including those who were not at all involved in the campaign," the group told CNN.

But Google underscored that they verified the employees involved in the protest.

"To reiterate, every single one of those whose employment was terminated was personally and definitively involved in disruptive activity inside our buildings. We carefully confirmed and reconfirmed this," the Google spokesperson said.

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