Google’s Investigated for Firing of Employees Who Opposed Israel Deal

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Key Takeaways

  • Google faces an NLRB investigation after firing employees who protested against a cloud services contract with Israel.
  • Former Google employees demand reinstatement and recognition of their right to organize.
  • The controversy highlights ethical concerns in tech contracts and the balance between corporate projects and employee activism.

Fired Google employees file a complaint with the U.S. NLRB, claiming retaliation for protesting Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal with Israel.

A cloud hangs over Google after a group of fired employees filed a complaint with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). These former workers allege their termination resulted from their protest against Project Nimbus, a controversial $1.2 billion cloud services contract with the Israeli government.

Project Nimbus ignited controversy in 2023 when Google partnered with Amazon to provide cloud infrastructure to Israel. This deal sparked outrage among some Google employees who feared the project would aid Israel’s development of military technology and contribute to human rights violations against Palestinians.

The concerns weren’t limited to Google. In December, The Washington Post reported that approximately 1,700 Amazon employees signed a petition opposing Project Nimbus, citing concerns that the project would be used by the Israeli government to suppress Palestinian activism and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Fueling the fire at Google, some employees organized sit-in protests on April 16 at Google offices in California and New York, demanding the company cancel its involvement in Project Nimbus. Some employees were arrested during the protests, and shortly after, Google fired 28 employees who participated in the demonstrations.

The fired workers claim their dismissal was retaliation for engaging in protected activities: organizing and participating in the protests. They are seeking reinstatement, back pay, and a statement from Google affirming their right to organize and protest.

Google has defended its actions, stating that the employees’ behavior was “completely unacceptable” and made others feel threatened and unsafe. However, the former employees argue that their protests were peaceful and did not disrupt the workplace.

The NLRB will now investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it. If the board sides with the former employees, it could have serious ramifications for Google and other tech giants, emphasizing the importance of protecting employee rights to organize and protest.

This controversy exposes a deeper issue: the ethical considerations of tech companies engaging in government contracts, particularly those with potential military applications.