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Google must bargain with the YouTube worker union – US Labour Board Rules

Google must bargain with the YouTube worker union – US Labour Board Rules

The National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on 3 January 2024 that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, violated US labour law by failing to engage in negotiations with a union representing contract workers at YouTube Music.

The NLRB rejected Google’s argument that it should not be considered the employer of Cognizant Technology Solutions’ employees.

Google has chosen not to bargain, aiming to remand the case to the NLRB because employers cannot appeal decisions in election cases. However, on January 3, 2024, the NLRB ruled that the company had not presented any new issues that required a review. In response, Google stated that it intends to petition a federal appeals court to review the ruling.

In April of last year, YouTube Music content operation workers unanimously voted 41-0 to join the Alphabet Workers Union, which was founded three years ago to organise company employees.

In July, the NLRB upheld the election results, rejecting Google’s claim that it lacked sufficient control over the workers to be designated as a “joint employer” obligated to bargain with their union.

The company stated that it is fine for Cognizant employees to join a union, but Google believes it is Cognizant’s responsibility as the employer to talk to and negotiate with the union.

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