Digital Media

A YouTubers Union wants big changes from YouTube. Google just responded

The YouTube logo on display in the lobby of YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif.


Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

After a year and a half of waiting, a YouTubers Union demanded YouTube respond to its complaints by Friday or the world’s biggest traditional labor union would take the video site and its parent company Google to court. Hours before the deadline, Google answered. 

“We did receive an extensive answer from Google just now,” Jörg Sprave, the founder and spokesman for the YouTube Union, said in an email Friday. “We will need some time to go through it for evaluation in order to decide how we will react.”

Google and YouTube didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. 

Last month, a YouTubers Union has joined forces with one of the biggest traditional labor unions in the world to launch a campaign pressuring the massive video site to enter official negotiations. Demanding YouTube and parent company Google to address complaints of frustrated YouTube creators, they set Friday as the deadline for Google and YouTube to respond or they’d move their complaints to court. 

Until last month, the YouTuber Union was mostly a loose association of about 20,000 members who joined a Facebook group, and it hadn’t triggered much attention from Google or among the 2 billion people who visit YouTube monthly. But in August, it joined forces with IG Metall, one of the biggest and oldest traditional labor unions in the world. With deep resources, legal expertise and a track record on labor issues, IG Metall gave the YouTubers Union the kind of legitimacy and urgency to command more attention — include Google’s.

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