Google fires 28 employees as CEO Pichai warns against debating politics

Google fired 28 workers for their involvement in anti-Israel protests and promised that others who followed them would face action as well

April 19, 2024 10:55 am | Updated 11:01 am IST

No Tech for Apartheid had claimed that over two dozen workers were “indiscriminately” fired [File]

No Tech for Apartheid had claimed that over two dozen workers were “indiscriminately” fired [File] | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Google has fired 28 employees after protests against the company and Amazon’s $1.2 billion Project Nimbus contract with the Israeli government amidst the country’s bombardment of Palestinians.

While the organisation No Tech for Apartheid claimed that over two dozen workers were “indiscriminately” fired, a Google memo confirmed that 28 involved employees had been fired, reported tech outlet The Verge.

Around nine people were arrested by the police after hours of sit-ins at the two Google offices in New York and Sunnyvale. They livestreamed themselves being removed from the premises.

“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,” wrote Chris Rackow, Google’s head of global security, in the memo shared by The Verge.

(For top technology news of the day, subscribe to our tech newsletter Today’s Cache)

However, No Tech for Apartheid previously disagreed with such allegations

“This excuse to avoid confronting us and our concerns directly, and attempt to justify its illegal, retaliatory firings, is a lie,” the organisation said in an earlier statement on Thursday. “Even the workers who were participating in a peaceful sit-in and refusing to leave did not damage property or threaten other workers. Instead they received an overwhelmingly positive response and shows of support.”

Google’s Rackow warned that other employees following the protesters’ actions could expect similar consequences, and that such behaviour violated multiple workplace policies.

In a blog post on Thursday, chief Sundar Pichai advised employees to keep politics out of the workplace and said it was “too important a moment as a company” for them to be distracted.

“We have a culture of vibrant, open discussion that enables us to create amazing products and turn great ideas into action. That’s important to preserve. But 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 coworkers or makes them feel unsafe, to attempt to use the company as a personal platform, or to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics,” Pichai wrote.

No Tech for Apartheid held Google’s leadership responsible for the ongoing deaths in Palestine.

“Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian are genocide profiteers. 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,” said the organisation.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.