Whoa: Google Fires 28 Employees After Pro-Hamas Sit-In

Townhall Media

"Nasty, tedious children," as Beege called them yesterday, are now nasty, tedious, and unemployed children. More than two dozen Google employees that participated in sit-in at office in New York and California got fired late yesterday for their attempts to hijack executive strategy in relation to a contract with the Israeli government.


This should send some shock waves around the Left, and it's no small irony to see the New York Times report on the proper manner in dealing with employee revolts too:

Google on Wednesday fired 28 workers after dozens of employees participated in sit-ins at the company’s New York and Sunnyvale, Calif., offices to protest the company’s cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.

A day earlier, nine employees were arrested on charges of trespassing at the two offices.

“Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.

The NYT learned this lesson in workplace management, too ... eventually. Management infamously caved to an employee revolt over the publication of an opinion column from Senator Tom Cotton in 2020, firing longtime op-ed editor James Bennet to appease the mob, giving the employees the (accurate) impression that they ran the asylum. A couple of years later, however, a new management team sharply rebuked the staff for attempting to silence discussion of detransitioners by reminding them that the door was right over there and that they could find ten people to replace each and every one of the crybullies who chose to walk through it.


Google seems to have learned a lesson from that, even if its employees did not. They also learned this the hard way, however. Six years ago, an employee revolt resulted in Google retreating from a military contract with the Department of Defense that would have improved the US military's response to drone warfare:

In 2018, Google workers successfully pushed the company to end a deal with the U.S. Defense Department. Called Project Maven, it would have helped the military analyze drone videos.

So Google made the same mistake in setting incentives toward employee activism that the New York Times made. With Project Nimbus, they appear to have been holding a much firmer line; the development of this system for Israel's government has gone on for a few years despite opposition from employee activists. The war has escalated their tactics recently, and they must have expected Google's progressive executive board to cave again to the Keyboard Proletariat.

Big mistake.

A company-wide e-mail from executive VP Chris Rackow underscored that miscalculation and laid down the law in very clear terms:

The protests were “unacceptable, extremely disruptive and made co-workers feel threatened,” Rackow wrote in the email.

“The overwhelming majority of our employees do the right thing,” Rackow wrote. “If you’re one of the few who are tempted to think we’re going to overlook conduct that violates our policies, think again.”


He added, "You should expect to hear more from leaders about standards of behavior and discourse in the workplace." In case that's not a clear enough message, a Google spokesperson told the NY Post that the firings may not be over yet, either:

“A small number of employee protesters entered and disrupted a few of our locations. Physically impeding other employees’ work and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a clear violation of our policies, and completely unacceptable behavior.”

“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,” the spokesperson added.

To paraphrase an old joke about corporate management: The beatings will continue until behavior improves.

It's long past time that employers stop acting in fear of their employees. Basecamp actually got this ball rolling in 2021 in the tech sector by declaring an end to political discussions and activism in the workplace. Google and the NYT are late to the party in that sense. But in a larger sense, this feels like the end of the indulgent child-management corporate culture that has existed for a couple of decades, one in which executives live in fear of the people they pay and where workers that marinated in Academia think they run the world.


Or at least they did. Google has apparently returned to more rational management policies, where firing a few troublemakers is a solid pour encourager les autres strategy. Firing 28 of them at a time sends a clear message to the rest of their workforce: the Keyboard Proletariat does not tell us what to do.

Let's hope they stick to that, and that the rest of the commercial enterprises in the US follow the example. 

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos