submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

Let's hope some good radiation might finally ionize them

[-] [email protected] 23 points 1 month ago

This path only ends when people start reminding the oligarchy that unions were the compromise.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 9 points 1 month ago

Is there a non-paywalled link?

[-] [email protected] 12 points 1 month ago

Rather than meeting employees at the bargaining table, Google decided to do what could be described as the equivalent of hucking the table into the sky. This week, YouTube Music workers who were recently locked in a tense union fight with Google were laid off while in the middle of testifying before Austin City Council.

this is the exact moment our coworkers found out we had been laid off while speaking in front of city council pic.twitter.com/IcsCszGe3Z
— jacob (@peepaw_) March 1, 2024

In a video of the testimony, Jack Benedict spoke of their unionization efforts, explaining that a group of less than 50 was determined to fight two of the largest corporations in the world (Google and its subcontractor Cognizant). During the speech, another employee approaches and says “They just laid us all off. Our jobs are ended today, effective immediately.” Benedict, visibly shocked, responds “wow,” and they leave the podium as they’re told their time is up. Related Video

This all comes in light of a year-long fight, after a group of 58 employees on the YouTube Music Content Operations Team unanimously voted to unionize as part of the Alphabet Workers Union last spring, in an election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), per a press release by Austin City Council Members. Employes spoke of the need for better pay, benefits, and a more flexible return-to-office policy.

The news of Google laying off the YouTube Music team broke before the results of an Austin City Council vote on a resolution calling for Google and Cognizant to negotiate with the YouTube Music Content Operations Team. The resolution passed 9-1.

“While workers were at city hall testifying, they received word that their team had been laid off. Instead of getting the chance to stay and celebrate the passage of their resolution they instead needed to leave to go retrieve their personal belongings from their office,” according to an Austin City Council press release. “Many of the workers feel they could lose their homes due to the sudden and unexpected layoff, which some of them believe could be retaliation for standing up today.” The dark side of tech

Employees unionized as part of the larger fight for better pay and benefits and petitioned Google to come to the table for negotiations, but the software company had refused. The company has claimed that because the employees are contractors, Google is not responsible for bargaining; instead, the contractor, Cognizant, is. But the NLRB has said otherwise, ruling Google and Cognizant as joint employers of YouTube Music workers.

The NLRB has ruled that Google’s refusal to bargain with YouTube Music workers is illegal. The board also introduced a new rule this December that would “make it even harder for companies like Google to argue they aren’t responsible for dealing with unionization efforts by third-party contractors,” according to the Verge.

Indeed, in a statement to Fortune, a Google spokesperson says that the Austin-based unionized workers are “not Google employees. Cognizant is responsible for these workers’ employment terms, including staffing.” They add that they “have no objections to Cognizant employees electing to form a union. We simply believe it’s only appropriate for Cognizant, as their employer, to engage in collective bargaining,” and say that Google will be appealing the NLRB’s ruling that stated otherwise.

Google also denied that it fired the YouTube Music workers, saying this was a routine end of contract “which was agreed to with Cognizant.”

After this story’s publication, a Cognizant spokeperson told Fortune, “ramp-downs and ramp-ups of projects are a normal part of Cognizant’s business operations. This contract ended at its planned expiration date. “

The spokesperson added that the former YouTube Music workers “will become part of Cognizant’s deployable talent pool, better known as our ‘bench,’ where they are given seven (7) weeks of dedicated, paid time to explore other roles within the organization and build new skills through our training ecosystem. ”

Still, the Alphabet Workers Union said that the contract end had come as a surprise, with no notice to affected workers.

As a former employee noted, the NLRB has twice ruled that Google and Cognizant are joint employers of these contractors and that Google has illegally changed working conditions without contacting the union.

Alphabet Workers Union directed Fortune to its public statement on the issue, which mentioned how many employees were forced to work multiple gigs to make ends meet and were unable to meet the mandate to work in person as they were “not paid enough to afford the associated expenses with in-person work, like gas and childcare costs.” They also highlighted a quote from the regional director of the NLRB in Fort Worth, Texas, from last year’s ruling that found the contractors were employed by both Alphabet and Cognizant. “Google exercises direct and immediate control over benefits, hours of work, supervision and direction of work,” said the regional director.

An employee who had worked at YouTube Music for three years opened up about how the tech job was not as cushy as it’s often stereotyped to be. “Truth of the matter is, we get paid $19 an hour here with awful benefits that come out of our paycheck and [we had] a restrictive PTO policy,” they said in an Instagram post. “This is simply not enough to live with any kind of comfortability in this city which is, across the board, significantly increasing its average cost of living year by year.” Adding that the group unionized to change these conditions and pay, the employee notes that the gig was easier when working remotely as they could save money by skipping a commute and making food at home.

“Google and Cognizant have profited immensely off of our labor and consequently -for lack of a better word- fucked us,” says the employee.

Update, Mar. 1, 2024: This story has been updated with a response from Cognizant.

[-] [email protected] -5 points 1 month ago

Paywall bypass extensions

[-] [email protected] 37 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

its amazing that entities (or "corporate persons" to our definitely not corrupt supreme court) that have more assets than many US states are allowed to stifle free speech and free association without any repurcussions.

[-] [email protected] 149 points 1 month ago

Have fun arguing that isn’t retaliation in front of the NLRB. Automatic validity for the union and its collective bargaining process.

[-] [email protected] 104 points 1 month ago

That is why billionaires are trying so hard to completely gut the NLRB.

[-] [email protected] 106 points 1 month ago

Watching this from Sweden and can only react with "what the actual fuck". That's weird and sad and unfathomable to me.

[-] [email protected] 62 points 1 month ago

We literally have millions of working poor fighting and voting against unions because they watch fawx news, listen to preachers, and believe a New York city slicker/rapist/con-man is the next coming of Christ.

Don't ever let your right-wing party cut education. The bullshit we are dealing with is a direct result.

[-] [email protected] 38 points 1 month ago

It doesn't help that Americans have been told for decades, long before Fox News, that unions are all corrupt and just care about taking a percentage of your paycheck.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

I wonder if it’s a regional thing? Growing up I never heard bad things about unions, and when I found out the job I’m currently in is union I was pretty happy. For the record I’m in my early 30s in the Midwest, which is not exactly widely liberal.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

Not at all. There is a very long history in the U.S. of anti-union propaganda and union busting. And the people who came of age in the 1970s and 1980s had actual psychologists working on them to persuade them that unions were a bad thing.

The 1970s and 1980s were an altogether more hostile political and economic climate for organized labor.[26] Meanwhile, a new multi-billion dollar union buster industry, using industrial psychologists, lawyers, and strike management experts, proved skilled at sidestepping requirements of both the National Labor Relations Act and Landrum-Griffin in the war against labor unions.[40] In the 1970s the number of consultants, and the scope and sophistication of their activities, increased substantially. As the numbers of consultants increased, the numbers of unions suffering NLRB setbacks also increased. Labor's percentage of election wins slipped from 57 percent to 46 percent. The number of union decertification elections tripled, with a 73 percent loss rate for unions.[37] The political environment has included the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Department of Labor failing to enforce the law against companies that repeatedly violate labor law.[41]

Labor relations consulting firms began providing seminars on union avoidance strategies in the 1970s.[42] Agencies moved from subverting unions to screening out union sympathizers during hiring, indoctrinating workforces, and propagandizing against unions.[43]

By the mid-1980s, Congress had investigated, but failed to regulate, abuses by labor relations consulting firms. Meanwhile, while some anti-union employers continued to rely upon the tactics of persuasion and manipulation, other besieged firms launched blatantly aggressive anti-union campaigns. At the dawn of the 21st Century, methods of union busting have recalled similar tactics from the dawn of the 20th Century.[44] The political environment has included the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Department of Labor failing to enforce the labor law against companies that repeatedly violate it.[41][45]


[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

Sorry, I wasn’t trying to dispute that anti-union had existed for decades. I was just trying to feel out why I’ve never heard people speak ill of unions or seen anti-union propaganda in my area. I don’t imagine we have a disproportionate amount of happy union workers to counteract the propaganda.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Don't forget about McCarthyism, where everything attached to the labels of communism and socialism are evil. That of course, does not include socialism for corporations. That's fine.

Then you couple that with classic Ayn Rand individualism.

[-] [email protected] 16 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

That was weird about watching American movies in the 80s. Every other movie somebody had to mention "Sorry, can't do that. Union rules."

[-] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago

Tbh I think this is the biggest culprit.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 1 month ago

We have the most privatised education system in the world where publicly traded companies get tax money to educate people and make profit off it. It's a shit show. It's already happened.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

The threshold of pain and abuse the Americans have is impressive. It's going to be very impressive when their feelings finally explode.

[-] [email protected] 64 points 1 month ago

The city council video where they find out they’re laid off: https://youtu.be/pZBtjNGes6s

this post was submitted on 02 Mar 2024
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