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New Delhi: A team of 43 contractors working for YouTube Music found themselves without jobs after advocating for improved pay and benefits, according to reports. These contractors were employed both directly by Google and by its subcontractor, Cognizant.

Layoffs At The Company

The contractors were reportedly blindsided by the layoffs, which occurred shortly after they raised concerns about their compensation and benefits. (Also Read: Who Is Nupur Dave, Bengaluru Woman Who Worked With Google For 10 Years, Takes Retirement On Friday, Regrets Just After Two Days)

In a widely circulated video on social media, YouTube data analyst Jack Benedict addressed the Austin City Council to seek support for his union’s negotiations with Google, only to discover during his speech that he and his entire team had been laid off. (Also Read: BIG Blow To THESE SBI Credit Card Holders; You Will Not Get Rent Payment Rewards From April 1)

this is the exact moment our coworkers found out we had been laid off while speaking in front of city council pic.twitter.com/IcsCszGe3Z

— jacob (@peepaw_) March 1, 2024

Reactions From Workers

Speaking to The Washington Post, Benedict expressed his shock and anger at the sudden termination of his employment. He and his colleagues believe that they were targeted as an example to discourage others from making similar demands.

Company Responses

Google distanced itself from the layoffs, stating that the contracts with its suppliers typically end at their natural expiry date. Similarly, Cognizant described the layoffs as part of their regular business operations, with contracts ending “naturally.”

Employee Support

In response to the layoffs, the affected employees will be provided with seven weeks of paid time to explore other opportunities within the company.

The layoffs come after YouTube Music contract workers voted to unionize last year, seeking improved pay, benefits, and flexible return-to-office policies. However, Google refused to negotiate with the contract workers, citing their status as non-employees of the company.