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Science & Tech: Ex Google Workers Out Over Israel Protests Claim

SCIENCE & TECH: Ex-Google workers out over Israel protests claim they were illegally fired

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A group of ex-Google employees has filed a federal labor complaint alleging they were illegally fired by the tech giant for their involvement in office protests over the company’s business ties to the Israeli government.

Filed with the National Labor Relations Board late Monday, the complaint alleges that Google “unlawfully retaliated” against workers who staged a “peaceful, non-disruptive protest” for improved working conditions, according to Jane Chung, a spokesperson for protest organizer No Tech for Apartheid.

The workers are “seeking reinstatement of their jobs, back pay, and affirmation from Google leadership that it will not retaliate against its workers for lawful collective protest,” Chung said in a release.

The complaint alleges that by firing the workers, Google interfered with their rights under US labor law to advocate for better working conditions. X/@NoTechApartheid

“Google is attempting to instill fear in employees by illegally punishing and retaliating against those expressing dissent about Google’s profit and complicity in genocide,” said Zelda Montes, one of the nine employees who were arrested for trespassing during the office protests.

The pro-Palestinian staffers — many of whom wore traditional Arab headscarves and masks — stormed the office buildings to demand that Google withdraw from the $1.2 billion “Project Nimbus” contract, in which Google and Amazon provide cloud services for Israel.

The Post could not immediately obtain a copy of the complaint. Representatives for the workers and for Google did not immediately return requests for comment on the situation.

As The Post reported earlier this month, Google fired 28 employees over their participation in 10-hour-long sit-ins at the company’s offices in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City and Sunnyvale, California.

“They took over office spaces, defaced our property, and physically impeded the work of other Googlers,” Google vice president of global security Chris Rackow said in a companywide memo obtained by The Post. “Their behavior was unacceptable, extremely disruptive, and made co-workers feel threatened.”

The company later confirmed that it had fired an unspecified number of additional staffers after an internal investigation determined they were “directly involved in disruptive activity.”

No Tech For Apartheid has claimed that more than 50 Google employees were fired in total, though the company has not commented on that figure.

The group has also alleged that some “non-participating bystanders” were fired.

Google said it fired 28 employees who disrupted work at unspecified office locations while protesting Project Nimbus this month. Twitch/notech4apartheid

The protesters posted live-streams, photos and videos of their antics on social media, including the moment employees were issued final warnings and arrested by local police.

While company activists allege the technology could be weaponized against the local populace in Gaza, Google says Project Nimbus “is not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.” 

An NLRB spokesperson confirmed the board had received an unfair labor practice charge and was in the process of docketing it.

The workers claim the project supports Israel’s development of military tools. AP

The board investigates claims and attempts to reach a settlement between the two parties if they are found to have merit.

If a settle can’t be reached, the board can a formal complaint against the company and seek disciplinary action.

Google has said “every single one of those whose employment was terminated was personally and definitively involved in disruptive activity inside our buildings.”



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