A group of workers involved in YouTube Music’s content operations have begun a strike. The staff are subcontractors for the music service (via a company called Cognizant) who had been told they must return to the office today (6 February).
The Alphabet Workers Union announced the strike on Friday, saying that “a majority of workers were hired remotely and the upcoming return to office date threatens the livelihoods of workers who do not live in the Austin area”.
This follows the news last October that a group of subcontractors working within YouTube Music Content Operations had filed for union recognition with the National Labor Relations Board in the US.
What does all this mean for YouTube Music itself? The Verge noted that the staff “ensure music content is available and approved” for the streaming service, so rightsholders and artists will be watching to see whether there is a knock-on effect on those approvals in the coming days and weeks, depending how long the strike lasts.
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