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Why did the Death Star fire woke protesting workers?

During the height of the pandemic, the tech world was experiencing an unprecedented shortage of workers. The major players such as Apple, Meta, Google and Microsoft were poaching each other's employees and didn't want to upset the apple cart by throwing spears at folks who disagreed with their corporate alliances.


The landscape is very different now. Most of these companies having bulked up during the past few years are laying off workers. They have no problem showing dissidents the door.


Google fired 28 workers who protested the company's Israel contract

“Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies," Google said

By Britney Nguyen, Quartz Media

Ap 20, 2024


More than two dozen Google employees were fired Wednesday after a series of protests against the company’s cloud computing and AI services contract with the Israeli government and military.


Google fired 28 employees after they staged protests against the company’s $1.2 billion joint contract with Amazon called Project Nimbus, which was awarded to the companies in 2021, to provide cloud services to Israel. No Tech For Apartheid led the protests, which took place across Google offices in New York, Seattle, and Sunnyvale, California on Tuesday. Employees in New York and Sunnyvale held an almost 10-hour sit-in at the offices in those cities, including in Google Cloud chief executive Thomas Kurian’s office, and nine employees were arrested on trespassing charges Tuesday evening.


Bloomberg reports that the company sent emails to employees involved in the protests telling them they were being put on leave, and that Google was “keeping this matter as confidential as possible, only disclosing information on a need to know basis.” No Tech For Apartheid said that the employees were later told they were being fired, even if they did not directly participate in the sit-ins .


“These protests were part of a longstanding campaign by a group of organizations and people who largely don’t work at Google,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement, adding that a few of its offices were “entered and disrupted” by a small number of workers.

“Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior,” the spokesperson said. “After refusing multiple requests to leave the premises, law enforcement was engaged to remove them to ensure office safety. We have so far concluded individual investigations that resulted in the termination of employment for 28 employees, and will continue to investigate and take action as needed.”


Separately, Google announced layoffs across teams in its finance and real estate units this week, as well as relocations of some roles.


Business Insider, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reports that Google finance chief Ruth Porat told employees the company is building its “growth hubs” in cities including Bangalore, India, Mexico City, Mexico, and Dublin, Ireland as part of the relocations.


“As we’ve said, we’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023 and into 2024, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, remove layers and align their resources to their biggest product priorities. Through this, we’re simplifying our structures to give employees more opportunity to work on our most innovative and important advances and our biggest company priorities, while reducing bureaucracy and layers.”


In January, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai told employees more layoffs were coming after the company cut 100 YouTube staffers.

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