(SAN LEANDRO, Calif.) –– Workers who collect waste materials for Genentech Inc., are the latest Silicon Valley workers to vote in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif.
The 15 workers include compliance technicians, chemists, in-site technicians and administrative assistants. They work at Genentech’s South San Francisco campus through contractor Clean Harbors, collecting and packaging waste and biodegradable materials needing special attention and care.
“These are critical and sensitive jobs, certainly deserving of more than $17 an hour, which is what these workers are making, on average, in the cost-prohibitive Bay Area,” said Rome Aloise, International Vice President and principal officer of Teamsters Local 853. “We’re looking forward to negotiating a contract that will ensure proper wages, respect and working conditions for our newest members.”
On Aug. 1, shuttle drivers for Genentech, as well as six other Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, eBay and Yahoo, voted in favor of a Local 853 contract proposal that includes industry-leading wages and benefits. Under the proposal, starting wages are between $25 and $27.50 per hour for the drivers employed through contractor Compass Transportation. The proposal also includes shift minimums and employer contributions to a defined benefit plan.
Genentech has stated publicly since the vote that it supports implementation of wage increases effective immediately, and does not believe continued negotiations should delay implementation of these increases for workers at its contractor, Compass Transportation.
The victory for waste workers at Genentech is just the latest organizing and contract success story for workers with Local 853 in Silicon Valley.
On July 27, 140 Google Express warehouse and shipping workers, employed through contractor Adecco, announced they had filed for a representation election to join Local 853, in order to improve working conditions and treatment on the job. Their vote is expected to take place in a few weeks.
Shuttle drivers for Genentech, Apple, eBay, Yahoo, Zynga, Amtrak and Evernote, employed through Compass Transportation, voted overwhelmingly in February to join Local 853. Also in February, Facebook drivers who are members of Local 853 ratified their first, industry-leading agreement, which raised average pay to $27.50 an hour, including split differential, 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.
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 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.