Google Cancels Contract with YouTube Music Team Members

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In response to a prolonged protest for better pay, Google has terminated the contracts of a group of employees from its YouTube Music team. The Alphabet Workers Union-CWA, representing contractors for YouTube Music, reported that Google contractor Cognizant in Austin, Texas, made the decision to cancel the contracts following the strike.

The protest, involving over 40 YouTube Music employees in February last year, highlighted demands for changes to Google’s return-to-work policy. Workers complained of being paid as little as $19 an hour, sparking dissatisfaction and calls for improved compensation.

Despite Google’s denial of direct involvement in the termination decision, the move has drawn attention to labour relations within the tech giant. Cognizant has assured affected workers of seven weeks’ pay and opportunities to transition to other roles within the company.

This development comes after the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) ruled against Google’s claim of non-employer status for workers provided by staffing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions. The ruling, which found Google in violation of US labour law, emphasised the tech company’s control over the contractors’ working conditions.

The YouTube Music contractors’ dispute is part of a broader conversation surrounding labour rights and worker classification in the tech industry. With increasing scrutiny and legal challenges, companies like Google face pressure to address concerns regarding fair treatment and recognition of contracted workers as employees.