Former Google employees were fired for protesting the Israel deal and filing a grievance citing protected speech

By Clare Duffy | CNN

New York – Dozens of former Google employees filed a grievance with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday after they were fired or placed on administrative leave last month for protesting the corporate's cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.

The grievance accuses Google of retaliating against the employees for his or her “protected concerted activity,” namely participation (or perceived participation) in a peaceful, non-disruptive protest that was directly and explicitly related to their working conditions.

According to No Tech for Apartheid, a bunch made up partly of Google and Amazon employees that organized the protests last month, the employees are demanding their jobs be reinstated and back pay.

A Google spokesman said in an announcement that the protests were “a clear case of employees disrupting and occupying workplaces and making other employees feel threatened and unsafe.”

“Their behavior was completely unacceptable in every respect – and was widely viewed as such,” the spokesman said. “We have carefully confirmed and reconfirmed that every single person whose employment was terminated was directly and definitively involved in the disruptions in our buildings. We are confident in our position and stand by the measures we have taken.”

Last month's protests included worker sit-ins at Google offices in New York City and Sunnyvale, California. According to No Tech for Apartheid, employees in Sunnyvale entered the office of Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.

No Tech for Apartheid announced last week that fifty Google employees had been terminated in reference to the protests. The group claimed among the fired employees were “non-participating bystanders” and weren’t actively involved in workplace activism.

A Google spokesperson told CNN last month that the corporate was investigating the “physical disturbance in our buildings on April 16.”

“Our investigation into these incidents is now complete and we have terminated the employment of additional employees who were found to have been directly involved in disruptive activities,” the Google spokesperson said on the time.

But affected employees say they mustn’t have been fired for protesting the corporate's actions.

“We must oppose Google’s suppression of labor organizing and demand that Google be held accountable for its retaliation against employees who demand ethical use of their work,” said Zelda Montes, a former Google software engineer who was convicted for her participation within the Protest was released in an announcement.

Google employees' protests against the corporate's cloud computing cope with the Israeli government come greater than six months after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants that killed about 1,200 people in Israel, and after Israel's counteroffensive in Gaza has now killed greater than 34,183 people in Gaza, based on figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. According to the ministry, greater than 70% of those killed in Gaza were women and kids.

The ongoing carnage amongst civilians in Gaza has deeply divided the American public, and in recent weeks there have been protests on college campuses and across the American economy against U.S. government and business support for Israel.

In the wake of the protests at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai sent out a company-wide memo asking employees to maintain “politics” out of the workplace. Pichai told employees, “This is a business, not a place where you can behave in a way that disrupts your co-workers.” Pichai further urged Google employees to not “argue about disruptive topics” within the workplace or to debate politics”.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery company. All rights reserved.

image credit :