It was unknown how many employees would be let go as a result of Google severing ties to these service providers, but Business Insider reported that 120-150 workers at Accenture who support YouTube TV and YouTube’s social-media accounts could lose their jobs.
“From time to time, we adjust our workforce on ongoing projects to meet the needs of our clients,” an Accenture representative said in a statement. “We are fully committed to supporting our people through this transition.”
The move came weeks after a vote to unionize by some Cognizant employees who were providing services for various aspects of YouTube Music. The employees voted 41-0 in favor of union representation.
In a public statement, Cognizant stressed that its affected workers would stay with the company: “As a professional services company, ramp-downs and ramp-ups of projects are a normal part of Cognizant’s work with clients. We do have a ramp down in our YouTube TV project; although this specific project has come to an end, those affected by this change remain Cognizant employees.”
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certified the union vote on May 5, and some workers from Cognizant for YouTube TV said that they were considering taking the steps to be able to join the Alphabet Workers Union, a trade union of workers employed at Alphabet Inc., when the contract between the two companies ended.
Google and Cognizant are currently appealing the NLRB ruling that allowed the Cognizant workers for YouTube Music to join the union. The workers for YouTube Music that successfully unionized was not part of those getting laid off.
In a statement to the press, Google has denied that the recent unionization of YouTube Music has anything to do with their new contract cancellations: “As we’ve said, we are managing our spend with our suppliers and vendors more effectively to create durable savings where possible,” said Google in its statement. “This work has been happening for well over a year across Alphabet and spans dozens of our major suppliers in the US and abroad. Any suggestion that these changes are due to reasons beyond increasing our efficiency and cost savings is untrue.”
While many contractual workers working for the company have been mobilizing for workers’ rights and better wages, Google also laid off over 12,000 full-time workers in January 2023 due to the changing economic climate of the world.