Workers for e-scooter company Spin who are members of Local 665 have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first union contract—in a first for workers in this industry.
The workers joined Local 665 via card check agreement. The union persisted during the COVID-19 pandemic, holding negotiation sessions over Zoom teleconferencing, to reach an agreement that contains a number of important firsts for this group of workers.
The three-year agreement includes annual wage increases of over 3 percent per year; six paid holidays, whereas workers previously had zero holidays; vacation days based on years of employment, whereas workers previously had zero vacation days; five sick days per year; a $1,200 per employee ratification bonus; benefit accrual for part-time workers, whereas they previously did not accrue; and the additional benefits and protections of a union contract.
Following ratification of the contract, the local secured an additional benefit of $100 per month per employee for transportation costs.
“Since this is the first-ever group of union e-scooter workers at Spin, we worked to build this contract from scratch,” said Tony Delorio, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 665 in San Francisco. “We are proud of this agreement and excited to continue our representation of workers with Spin.”
The group of 40 workers and growing in San Francisco includes shift leads, maintenance specialists, operations specialists, neighborhood ambassadors, deployers and collectors. Spin is owned by Ford Motor Company.
“It was awesome to see how happy everyone was when the new contract was ratified. They were especially excited about the bonus and all of the new PTO days,” said Joe Matekel, a business agent with Local 665.
“This new contract gives us job security and immediate money up front, with guaranteed increases each year going forward. We also got holiday pay and vacation, which we didn’t have before we organized,” said Shamar Bell, a Spin maintenance specialist and shop steward.
“All this means a lot during the pandemic. We know our union will have our back if our boss or the city government tries to make changes,” Bell said. “I can say for sure, we’re proud to be Teamsters.”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in 2019 calling for labor harmony for e-scooter companies. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) also passed a labor harmony requirement in 2015 for the Silicon Valley commuter shuttle buses which Teamsters operate in San Francisco.
“We have aggressively advocated for our members not only at the bargaining table, but also with the city to ensure that e-scooter jobs are not temp gig work, that they are good union jobs,” Delorio said.
“We welcome the expansion of the e-scooter program to companies that follow the rules. So far Spin is the only company to abide by labor standards and San Francisco’s requirements for permitting under its labor harmony provisions,” he said.
Delorio noted there are other e-scooter companies in the city that have ceased operations during the pandemic and have subcontracted to third-party employers to avoid worker organizing.
Spin was recently granted permission by SFMTA to add an additional 500 e-scooters to its existing fleet of 1,000, and Local 665 spoke in support of this expansion as it will create good jobs for workers.
“It’s so great to be part of the Teamsters organization and to know we have someone on our side,” said Rocina Prado, a shift lead at Spin.