A group of workers at YouTube Music Content Operations, an Alphabet subcontractor, have filed with the National Labor Relations Board for union recognition and bargaining power after a supermajority of the 58-strong group signed union cards. "As a part of the YouTube Music Content Operations team, workers ensure music content is available and approved for YouTube’s 2.1 billion monthly active users worldwide," the Alphabet Workers Union-Communications Workers of America (AWU-CWA) said in a statement.
The workers, who are based in Austin, Texas, were already paying AWU-CWA dues and are now seeking bargaining rights. The AWU-CWA says those rights would force Alphabet to recognize the union as the workers' bargaining unit. The NLRB has scheduled a hearing for November 14th. The union, which was formed in January 2021, now counts nearly 1,200 Alphabet workers as members, including full-time employees as well as temporary, vendor and contract workers.
The AWU-CWA says it "won't stop organizing until all Alphabet workers (full-time, temporary, vendor and contract workers) have dignity on the job, the pay and benefits we deserve, and a seat at the table." Earlier this year, a group of Google Fiber workers in Kansas City voted to unionize with the AWU-CWA. This month, the AWU filed complaints with the NLRB, accusing the company of firing Google data center workers in retaliation for union activity. The union says Google fired two workers who attempted to discuss pay and working conditions.
“We are honored to welcome the workers of the YouTube Music Content Operations team as members of the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA," Google software engineer and AWU-CWA executive chair Parul Koul said. "Google platforms like YouTube have largely been a success thanks to the labor and efforts of the thousands of contract workers that ensure quality content while being denied their fair share. We’re excited to see these workers bring Alphabet to the bargaining table and use their power to win the quality pay, benefits and rights on the job they deserve.”
Engadget has contacted Google for comment.