Updated March 4th, 2024 at 23:56 IST

Google Layoffs: 43 From YouTube Music Team Fired For Demanding Better Pay by Subcontractor Cognizant

A team of contractors in YouTube Music were asked to leave after they demanded better pay from Google and Cognizant, its subcontractor.

Reported by: Shweta Parande
Google layoffs | Image:Google

Google Layoffs: Just as there were reports of search engine giant Google laying off its employees from the Trust and Safety solutions team from its generative AI project, comes the news of the company asking a team of YouTube Music to leave.

A viral video led to reports that say a YouTube Music team comprising 43 contractual employees faced termination after demanding better pay and benefits. The contract workers were reportedly employed by Google and Cognizant Technology Solutions, its subcontractor. 


Google claims no responsibility for the layoffs of contractual workers. However, as reported by The Verge, the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA revealed that the employees in question were terminated by Cognizant in Austin, Texas.   

YouTube data analyst receives layoff news on video

Jack Benedict, a YouTube data analyst, was in conversation with the Austin City Council for his union’s negotiations with Google. Benedict got the shock of his life when on video call, he received the news of his layoff. Moreover, his entire team consisting of 42 people other than himself, had been laid off. 

Benedict said he was "speechless, shocked, and didn't know what to do" and felt anger. 


The terminated workers said that with this exercise, Google and its subcontractor were trying to stop other employees from demanding higher pay.  The laid-off contractual workers were not given advance notice and were terminated at the spur of the moment.

In February 2023, more than 40 YouTube Music employees were on a strike, demanding a change in Google's return-to-work policy. The Alphabet Workers Union-CWA revealed that at the time, remote workers of the YouTube Music team were being compensated with low wages of $19 per hour.


While Google maintains that it is Cognizant’s decision to let go of these contractual employees, Cognizant said that the affected team members would receive seven weeks of pay post termination. They will also be provided an option of alternative roles within the company.


Published March 4th, 2024 at 23:56 IST