Dozens of third-party employees at YouTube Music, hired by Alphabet sub-contractor tech company Cognizant, have gone on strike over alleged unfair labour practices.
According to a report in The Verge, 40 striking workers alleged that both companies’ management have “leveraged unfair labour practices to get in the way of their union drive”.
They alleged that the vast majority of them are ready to vote yes in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election.
“In an act of retaliation, our employer is forcing an end to remote work before the vote, which would dramatically interfere with the fair voting conditions mandated by federal law,” said YouTube Music generalist Sam Regan at a strike in Austin, Texas.
YouTube Music’s content operations team is expected to return to the Austin office early next week.
However, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) said the majority of workers were hired remotely.
“Workers are paid as little as $19 dollars an hour and thus, cannot afford the relocation, travel or childcare costs associated with in person work,” the AWU said in a statement.
The AWU had filed an unfair labour practice charge with the NLRB.
Alphabet recently laid off 12,000 employees, or 6 per cent of its global workforce.
Google employees also staged protests in the US this week to call attention to labour conditions for sub-contracted workers and to support thousands of their recently laid-off co-workers.
Nearly 50 Google employees also protested outside a Ninth Avenue store in New York shortly after parent company Alphabet announced fourth-quarter profits of $13.6 billion.