(WASHINGTON) – Drivers who transport employees for six big Silicon Valley companies have voted overwhelmingly 104 to 38 in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif.
The 158 full and part-time drivers—employees of Compass Transportation—shuttle Apple, Yahoo, eBay, Zynga, Genentech and Amtrak workers to and from work and home.
Compass Transportation drivers are among a growing group of workers in Silicon Valley who are organizing to improve their working conditions by joining the Teamsters.
“This is another step, in addition to the Facebook drivers, for the workers who support the tech industry to move forward toward decent wages, affordable health care and a pension for the future,” said Rome Aloise, International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 853. “As we continue to be contacted by drivers for other companies, we call on Apple, eBay, Zynga, Genentech, Yahoo and Amtrak to encourage their contractor to agree to the same economics that the Facebook drivers will enjoy.”
“There are drivers who’ve been here 20 years and have never seen a future, and now we have a future with the Teamsters,” said Tracy Kelley, a Compass driver. “We need wages commensurate with what it costs to live in this area, but it’s not just about wages. It’s about having better working conditions. We need changes and that’s why I called the Teamsters.”
Kelley, like many of his co-workers, leaves his home at 6 a.m. and returns home most nights after 8 p.m. He spends about 8 hours between shifts at the bus yard, for which he is not paid.
Compass Transportation is one of a number of operators that Silicon Valley companies contract with to provide transportation for their employees.
In Nov. 2014, 87 shuttle bus drivers for Facebook contractor Loop Transportation voted to join Local 853. On Feb. 21, the drivers voted unanimously in favor of a contract that includes significant wage increases, paid health care, retirement, guaranteed hours and improved working conditions, among many other gains. With this contract, the average pay for workers at Loop will be $24.50 an hour, up from $18 an hour.
The Teamsters Union is part of a growing movement of labor, faith and community-based organizations and workers challenging income inequality in Silicon Valley through an innovative partnership called Silicon Valley Rising.
“We believe in a Silicon Valley where all workers, their families and communities are valued and are a part of our region’s prosperity. Silicon Valley Rising strives to close the drastic inequity in our community,” said Derecka Mehrens, Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, one of a number of community groups that is leading the campaign.
For more information on tech worker organizing with the Teamsters, visit: https://teamster.org/tech-drivers-deserve-union.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.