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U.S Labour Board rules Google must bargain with YouTube Worker Union!

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U.S Labour Board rules Google must bargain with YouTube Worker Union!

After a group of Texas-based contract workers for YouTube Music unanimously voted last April to join the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU), Google refused to bargain over return to office complaints, a move the NLRB deemed illegal.


Google and Cognizant are joint employers

At the centre of the issue is a fight over who’s the boss. Google, which owns YouTube, claims it is not legally the employer of contract workers, but the NLRB says otherwise. It ordered Google to both “cease and desist” refusal to engage with the union and said Google must “bargain on request.”

A three-member NLRB panel found the tech giant, along with its subcontractor company, Cognizant, to be joint employers of the workers. As such, Google must bargain with their representing union, a decision Google says it will appeal in federal court.

“As we’ve said before, we have no objection to these Cognizant employees electing to form a union. We simply believe it’s only appropriate for Cognizant, as their employer, to engage in collective bargaining,” a Google spokesperson said in statement to CNN.

“We’re appealing the NLRB’s joint employer decision to federal court as Google does not control the employment terms or conditions of these Cognizant workers.”

Currently, there are nine other open unfair labour practice charges pending with the NLRB against Cognizant and Google, listing them as joint employers.

Wednesday’s ruling is in line with AWU claims that Google plays a highly active, employer role in contractor work and should be responsible for union dealings as a result.

“After a unanimous union election victory, and consistent rulings from the NLRB determining that Alphabet significantly shapes our working conditions and is in fact our employer, the company has refused to meet us at the bargaining table,” YouTube Music worker and AWU member Katie-Marie Marschner told CNN in a statement.

“Any future appeals by Alphabet are just an attempt to avoid collectively bargaining with the union and pad the pockets of shareholders and executives,” Marschner said.


Google’s adamance that it is not the employer of its contract workers is a stance it has taken before without success.

Google in a statement said it would ask a federal appeals court to review the ruling.


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Collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection and auto generation for its monthly newsletter Issue 20 of February 2024 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – kush@karmamgmt.com / yashika@karmamgmt.com

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