A group of YouTube Music workers went on strike this Friday to protest the new measure that forces them to work in person at the Austin (Texas) offices and, according to the Alphabet Workers (AWU-CWA) union, this will be the “first known strike at Google”.
The union said in a tweet that the workers, who are legally Cognizant employees, subcontractors for their work at YouTube Music, begin the strike this Friday after Cognizant and Google management announced that they would force workers to return to their jobs in person on February 6.
During the strike, YouTube Music worker Sam Reagan described this protest as a “historic moment in (United States) labor history.” “Many of us live out of state (Texas), many more live outside of Austin as contract employees for Google.”
“Most of us are so poorly paid that we can’t afford gas, childcare, and skyrocketing rents that we are being asked to pay to be able to work in person” if we have to go to Austin, Reagan added at a press conference held in front of the Google headquarters as part of the protest.. YouTube Music’s entire 43-person team of contractors voted in favor of the strike, according to Axios.
The workers told Axios that their minimum wage starts at $19 an hour. Employees and contractors of Google (a company part of Alphabet) formed the AWU-CWA in 2021, but it is a minority union, as it does not have the full powers of a traditional majority-approved union.
Meanwhile, this union cannot bargain collectively on behalf of workers or officially represent employees.
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