News

Facebook shuttle drivers vote to form union

After presenting a petition and holding a rally at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, the 87 drivers who take Facebook employees to and from work voted on Nov. 20 to unionize, according to Teamsters Local 853.

The vote was 43 in favor of unionizing, 28 against, according to the Teamsters.

Facebook, which reportedly refused to accept the petition, has a contract with Loop Transportation to provide the drivers for the shuttles. Local Teamsters political director Doug Bloch notified the City Council in advance of the Nov. 19 rally and said the union was not out to hurt either the social media company or its relationship with Menlo Park, but to improve working conditions.

Although they are paid "decent hourly wages," the drivers work split shifts and are not paid for the six or more hours they spend waiting for the second half of their shift; many live too far from Menlo Park to go home, according to the Teamsters. Mr. Bloch's statement also said the drivers pay $1,300 a month for "substandard" health benefits.

"The only way that Loop will listen to us is with a union and a collective voice. I'm very relieved that we have that now," said Demaurae Hooston, a driver, in a press release from the union.

Union supporters said it's time for tech companies to ensure adequate compensation for all of their employees.

"These drivers are part of the invisible work force that makes Silicon Valley run," said Derecka Mehrens, executive director of Working Partnerships USA, which participated in the rally. "They are members of our communities that work hard every day, but live in poverty, and the business model of tech companies like Facebook counts on that. Tech companies write the checks to subcontractors who hire these drivers and the thousands of other service workers who make these tech giants able to function. They need to set the standards, too, and say 'no' to poverty jobs."

Facebook representatives declined to comment. Other Silicon Valley giants, such as Google and Apple, also hire out for employee shuttle drivers, raising the question of whether the union will grow even further.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 21, 2014 at 11:33 am

Just another interest group on the take. Par for the course in modern America... if somebody else is making money, it's easier to figure out how to grab some rather than making yourself more useful to society.


1 person likes this
Posted by why
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

Why is Facebook refusing to comment? Not very transparent, Mr. Zuckerberg.


4 people like this
Posted by Orchardist
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

"another interest group on the take" - translation - "working class stiffs who want to make a reasonable wage to support their families"

Bunch of commie socialists!


6 people like this
Posted by what a world
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Yeah, a bunch of commie socialists driving buses in Bay Area commuter traffic to haul around rich techies rather than finding a real gig that's "more useful to society." Like coal mining or working the cotton fields. And the lag time between morning and night commute? They're probably sitting on their lazy behinds drinking beer and watching sports TV in a bar. The good-for-nothings.

Mr. Davis, you are a piece of work.


4 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

To Joseph E. Davis: For your sake, let us hope that your post was meant as sarcasm. Because if you are actually serious, you really need help.


3 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Joseph E. Davis's post is a typical republican response. His posts have been this way for years.


2 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

SteveC -- So this is par for the course from this character?

Charming.


3 people like this
Posted by Orchardist
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm

What has America come to?

Working Americans who are stuck working onerous split shifts and looking for a little help are now freeloading bloodsuckers.

"grab some rather than making yourself more useful to society."

Workers are now not "useful."


Like this comment
Posted by Annabelle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

How do we affect their path of delivery and pickup?
Currently they drive all the way up Sharon Park Drive through the neighborhoods when they could very well leave people off at Safeway/CVS.
Having additional buses rolling through the neighborhoods is a terrible and just added noise pollution.


2 people like this
Posted by Orchardist
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Annabelle, what does that have to do with the drivers? They do not pick the route.


Like this comment
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

pogo is a registered user.

SteveC -

It's not a typical REPUBLICAN response. It's MR. DAVIS'S typical response.

Don't confuse the two. There are a lot of nuts on both sides posting ridiculous statements. Attribute them to their rightful author. In this case, he is actually providing his name.


1 person likes this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

SteveC is a registered user.

Pogo: I did and it is


Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 22, 2014 at 9:26 am

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Unfortunately when the shuttle service goes out to bid next time, the additional Union costs "MIGHT" make the bid higher. we shall see.

In this VERY competitive market all costs (fuel, labor, mechanical) are factors in bidding. I would imagine they are profitable now with the drastic reduction in fuel costs.

I haven't looked at the transportation industry of late but I would guess CAPEX costs are the majority of the burden. Fuel at 4 gallons per hour vs. labor are probably a wash.

Roy


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