The Alphabet Workers Union, which represents contingent and directly employed workers at Google, said it filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against Alphabet, the parent company of Google, along with Alphabet subcontractor Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.

The charge was filed on behalf of 58 YouTube music content operations workers who filed for union recognition from the NLRB as members of the Alphabet Workers Union on Oct. 21, 2022.

The union said workers are being forced to return to the Google Austin, Texas, office on Feb. 6 after two years of successfully working from home. It noted that most workers were hired remotely, and nearly a quarter of workers are not based in Texas.

According to the union, the upcoming return to office date threatens the livelihoods of workers who do not live in the Austin, Texas, area and could result in the loss of jobs for members of the 58-person unit.

The workers are demanding that return-to-office policies be implemented once they can negotiate such policies with Alphabet and Cognizant following their successful union election.

“Right now, the vast majority of our unit is ready to vote yes in an NLRB election,” said Sam Regan, music generalist and member of the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA. “In an act of retaliation against our organizing efforts, our employer is forcing an end to remote work before the vote, which would dramatically interfere with the fair voting conditions mandated by federal law.”

Meanwhile, the workers are awaiting an NLRB ruling recognizing Alphabet and Cognizant as joint employers and forcing both companies to the negotiating table.