Posts tagged YouTube
‘Those who hate AI are insecure’: inside Hollywood’s battle over artificial intelligence
May 26, 2023 // “It’s so disruptive, it’s kind of like being afraid of the automobile, or, ‘Oh my God, we shouldn’t go to the moon,’” he said. What went unanswered in the panel discussion was how many of Hollywood’s technical workers, from set designers to hairstylists, would be able to translate their skills into a more virtual film world – and how many might simply be laid off. All these tensions were on display last week when tech companies that specialise in AI, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Nvidia, were among the sponsors of an “AI on the Lot” conference in Hollywood, which attracted an estimated 400 people to overflowing sessions about how artificial intelligence was disrupting every facet of film production. One tech investor described the mood as both high energy and high anxiety.
Push to unionize tech industry makes advances
April 28, 2023 // Organizing efforts are coming for office workers just as many tech companies are shedding staff, potentially giving employees new incentives to consider unions. The union pushes also come at a moment when workers in tech, as in many other fields, are feeling insecure about their future in the face of rapidly developing and increasingly capable AI-powered bots.
Google contractors vote to unionize in historic landslide election
April 27, 2023 // The unionization vote passed 41-0. The National Labor Relations Board representative counting the ballots said 49 workers were eligible to vote. The employees work for the subcontractor Cognizant on content operations for Google’s YouTube Music, resolving bugs and completing other tasks to ensure the streaming service runs smoothly. Google continues to argue that Cognizant is the workers’ sole employer and says the Mountain View-based tech giant should not be forced to negotiate with the workers. Held via mail-in ballot, the election creates a bargaining unit with the Alphabet Workers Union — an organization affiliated with the Communications Workers of America that, until now, has represented only one office of unionized Google workers, a contracted Fiber retail shop in Missouri. Those workers opted to drop Google from their petition.
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.
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.
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.”
YouTube Music contractors vote to unionize
October 26, 2022 // The AWU-CWA says it "won't stop organizing until all Alphabet workers (full-time, temporary, vendor and contract workers) have dignity on the job, the pay and benefits we deserve, and a seat at the table."
Waymo workers form union in the latest push to organize Silicon Valley
October 12, 2022 // The cafeteria workers at the Mountain View-based company cite the high cost of living in the Bay Area and the lack of strong benefits while working for one of the world's most valuable companies. Waymo is owned by Google parent company, Alphabet. The workers are employed by Sodexo, which contracts service work for Google and other companies. Organizers say they have a majority of union cards signed from the roughly two dozen-person bargaining unit.