Posts tagged Cognizant

    Labor board decision could force Google to negotiate with YouTube contractors

    March 7, 2023 // Alphabet has been labeled a joint employer, which may have some big ramifications for workers if they decide to unionize. For its part, Alphabet intends to appeal the NLRB’s decision. “We simply don’t control these workers’ employment terms or working conditions,” spokesperson Courtenay Mencini told Bloomberg. In addition to the union drive and fight to get Alphabet recognized as a joint employer, the contractors went on strike in February to protest return to office orders — the first strike at the company, according to the AWU. The dates for the union election haven’t been publicly announced yet.

    YouTube Music Workers Strike in Austin Over ‘Anti-Union’ Return-to-Office Mandate

    February 24, 2023 // Gossell and Marschner are upset that Google, whom they see as their employer, has deferred to Cognizant. “I’ve gone through Google training. I go through their security training. I go through their ethics training…. [But] if we want to negotiate over pay, they say, ‘Pay is based on the contract we have with Google, so we can’t bargain over that.'” Marschner says. The employees, affiliated with the Alphabet Workers Union, which has never held a strike, are awaiting National Labor Relations Board decisions on their election petition and the two Unfair Labor Practice complaints. “It’s going to be a long labor movement, because we’re not stopping until we have a union,” Gossell says. Referring to recent union activity at Amazon, Disney and Tesla, he adds: “I’m not saying we’re the tip of the spear, but we’re part of something bigger that’s going on in America. All you have to do is pick up a history book to see how this ends.”

    Op-ed: Why Employers Forcing a Return to Office is Leading to More Worker Power and Unionization

    February 23, 2023 // It's important to recognize that this turn to worker power is happening in the context of massive layoffs by tech companies, which are becoming less willing to offer perks like remote work to their workforce. In fact, there's evidence that some companies such as Twitter are using return-to-office mandates to get workers to quit voluntarily, to avoid paying severance. Employers are increasingly getting the upper hand, as workers who feel anxious about the economy are reluctant to make demands for more remote work. However, such strategies may well backfire against employers in the long term if they spur increases in labor union organizing; even though individual employees might be anxious about their jobs, together they can press their case, especially given an unemployment rate of 3.4%, the lowest in over 50 years. And even tech workers are finding new jobs in three months or so, pointing to the strength of the labor market despite some shift toward employer power.

    Google contractors in Austin strike for better union practices

    February 22, 2023 // The release went on to detail that if workers are forced to return to the office, they are "faced with 'voluntarily termination' for being unable to physically show up at the office." During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the employees were hired remotely and do not live close enough to the Austin office to commute on a regular basis. "At $19/hr, workers are not paid enough to afford gas, childcare and other costs related to in-person work. The current RTO mandate is an attempt to derail union organizing and for the striking YouTube Music workers, the ULP strike is the only thing protecting their jobs," the release stated.

    Exclusive: YouTube contractors to strike over forced return to office

    February 6, 2023 // Cognizant says that the workers' contracts have always stated that the jobs were in-office jobs and that it communicated to workers since Dec. 2021 that it would provide 90 days notice when employees were expected back in the office. "Cognizant respects the right of our associates to disagree with our policies, and to protest them lawfully," the company said in a statement to Axios. "However, it is disappointing that some of our associates have chosen to strike over a return to office policy that has been communicated to them repeatedly since December 2021."

    YouTube’s in-office mandate is ploy to squash unions, workers claim

    January 31, 2023 // An NLRB complaint filed Jan. 24 alleges that Alphabet’s return-to-work mandate is a “response to the union effort.” A spokesperson for Cognizant told HR Dive that the employer had communicated return-to-office policies “repeatedly and consistently” to all of its workers since December 2021 via email, the company’s internal website and team meetings, the spokesperson said. “The employees in Austin were fully aware of the intention to return to the office prior to the filing of a [NLRB] petition. Moreover, all associates working on this project were hired with the understanding that the jobs were based in an Austin office location,” the spokesperson said. “The small number of associates who voluntarily left the Austin area, and are unable or unwilling to return have the opportunity to be considered for assignments on other client projects at Cognizant. There is simply no merit to these claims.”