The Alphabet Workers Union, which aims to represent directly employed and contingent workers at Google, announced that members of a YouTube music content operations team who work through Cognizant voted to unionize. The union said the voting results were announced this week by the National Labor Relations Board.
Both Alphabet and Cognizant must negotiate with workers on their union contract under the NLRB ruling, according to the union. However, Alphabet has filed an appeal, though the union said it believes the ruling will be upheld.
While 41 members of the operations team voted to join, there were 49 workers eligible to vote.
“My coworkers and I have spoken,” said Maxwell Longfield, YouTube music contract worker with Cognizant and member of AWU-CWA. “No one working for a multi-billion-dollar platform should have to juggle three jobs to make ends meet, and no one should have to give up their livelihoods due to a retaliatory return-to-office mandate.”
Workers in the unit had filed for an election in 2022. The union had also filed an unfair labor practice charge against Google and Cognizant earlier this year saying the workers were being forced to return to the office even though most workers were hired remotely and nearly a quarter were not based in Texas; the offices they were being told to report to were in Austin.
In March 2022, employees of a Google Fiber subcontractor voted to unionize.
US unions are taking advantage of an uptick in interest and a supportive political environment to bolster memberships and expand into new industries, according to CWS 3.0.