The four worker-activists who were fired by Google during Thanksgiving week plan to file federal charges alleging that their former employer fired them to quash worker organizing, in violation of federal labor laws. Google told its staff of approximately 100,000 last week that the employees were fired for “clear and repeated violations of our data security policies”, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg. But in defiant interviews with the Guardian on Monday, the workers rejected that justification as a pretext. “Google fired us not just to target us, but to send a message to other employees in the company,” said Sophie Waldman, one of the fired software engineers. Three of the fired workers – Berland, Waldman and Rebecca Rivers – identify as LGBT, and some of their activism involved organizing within employee resource groups (ERGs) for trans or gay Googlers to push the company on issues such as equal benefits for same-sex partnerships.