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Alphabet Must Negotiate If Contract Staff Unionize, Labor Board Official Rules

  • Board’s regional director rejects the internet giant’s claims
  • Google has argued it’s not the employer of contracted staff
The logo for YouTube.

The logo for YouTube.

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg
Updated on

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is legally the boss of YouTube contract staff and must collectively bargain with the workers if they vote to unionize, a US labor board official ruled.

In a Friday decision, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board rejected the internet giant’s claims that it wasn’t the employer of a group of Texas-based YouTube workers, who are hired via the staffing agency Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. The director ruled that Google is in fact a “joint employer” — a company that has enough control over a group of workers to be liable for their treatment and obligated to negotiate with them if they unionize.