Press Release

Alphabet Workers Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge On Behalf of YouTube TV Workers



June 16, 2023 4:00 PM

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(Austin, Texas)—The Alphabet Workers Union-CWA (AWU-CWA) filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against Cognizant and Google with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today on behalf of YouTube TV workers. The charge maintains that the employers have engaged in unlawful actions to discourage YouTube TV workers from joining the union, including holding anti-union captive audience meetings and sidelining employees based on their union activity.

“We are eager to keep our jobs and do the work necessary to ensure YouTube TV is an excellent product for the millions of people who use it. However, every worker has a right to organize and we determined to ensure both Google and Cognizant abide by the law and treat us workers with the dignity and respect we deserve,” said a YouTube TV worker who’s name we withheld to protect them for fear of retaliation from management

Since early 2023, following the successful organizing efforts of YouTube Music employees in Texas, management has conducted captive audience meetings and implemented other anti-union measures to dissuade YouTube TV employees, who are part of a sister project between Cognizant and Google, from unionizing. The YouTube TV workers are the only other team that worked in a large office building alongside the YouTube music team. In May, employees were informed that the project would end abruptly, and they would receive a seven-week severance period referred to internally as "benching" before termination. However, just months prior new employees were hired onto the project. Since ending the project, management offered to continue employment for non-union employees in San Jose, CA while denying similar opportunities to employees engaged in union activity in Austin, TX.

During an unlawful captive audience meeting held on March 9, 2023, a representative for the employer stated that candid conversations with employees could not take place due to the union organizing, declared the YouTube Music strike futile, and emphasized that bargaining on certain mandatory subjects, such as remote work, would not be possible. In the past three months, the employers have increased surveillance of employees and restricted their concerted activities by implementing a policy that requires employees to store personal items, including mobile phones, in lockers.

“We strongly condemn this anti-union behavior from management and stand in solidarity with the YouTube TV employees in their fight for fair treatment, workplace democracy, and the right to organize. We are demanding that Cognizant and Google immediately cease their unlawful actions and provide benched workers work to do.” - Said Katie-Marie Marschner, Subject Matter Expert at YouTube Music Content Operations and member of Alphabet Workers Union