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Google axed 28 employees after they participated in a protest

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Google axed 28 employees after they participated in a protest

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Just the other day, it became known that Google is blocking links from local California news outlets. The reason? Google is doing this to protest the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) – it would require Google and other digital behemoths to pay a “journalism usage fee” to link to news sites in California. Now, Google has fired 28 employees after some staff members participated in protests against Google’s cloud contract with the Israeli government (via Reuters).

Google says that a small number of protesting employees entered and disrupted work at a few unspecified office locations. “Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior,” the company said in a statement.

Google will continue to investigate and take action as necessary, the company claims. In a statement on Medium, Google workers associated with the No Tech for Apartheid campaign labeled this action as “flagrant retaliation” and noted that some fired employees did not directly participate in Tuesday’s protests:

The protesting group emphasized that Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about their labor conditions. They claim that Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract awarded to Google and Amazon in 2021 to provide cloud services to the Israeli government, supports the development of military tools by Israel.
Google, however, maintains that the Nimbus contract is not focused on highly sensitive, classified, or military tasks related to weapons or intelligence services. This incident is not the first time Google employees have protested. In 2018, workers successfully pressured the company to halt a contract with the U.S. military, Project Maven, intended for analyzing aerial drone imagery potentially used in warfare.

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