Workers at YouTube’s Music Content Operations in Austin, Texas, unanimously voted to join CWA this week. The workers, who are members of Alphabet Workers Union (AWU-CWA), are employed by Cognizant Technology Solutions, a subcontractor of Alphabet. This is a major milestone in the fight to prevent companies from avoiding responsibility by subcontracting work. In March, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that both Alphabet and Cognizant must negotiate with the YouTube Music workers on any collective bargaining agreement because Alphabet exercises direct and indirect control over their work.
Since forming their union in October 2022, the workers have been faced with aggressive union busting from their employer, including a retaliatory Return-To-Office (RTO) mandate which would have forced dozens of workers to “voluntarily terminate” from their jobs. The workers have been fighting back by building solidarity and support for their union and holding workplace actions, including the first known strike at Alphabet, which also owns Google. For months, they stood out on the picket line, held major rallies, engaged their communities, and garnered support from other workers, union members, and elected officials.