Laid-off cafeteria workers are protesting at Meta headquarters for higher severance benefits.
Former cafeteria workers at Meta, formerly known as Facebook, allege they were let go during a mass layoff on Jan. 6 with severance unequal to that of other Meta employees who were laid off from engineering work.
Samuel Rasheed, UNITE HERE Local 19 union representative and organizer of the protests, said that the workers will be protesting until Meta is willing to negotiate with the laid off workers.
“The workers are what, just left out in the cold?” Rasheed said. “...Treat us with respect and dignity … and come to the table, working with us to get equal treatment.”
A major concern that the protesters shared was for their insurance benefits, which Meta only offered for two months following the layoff. Marisol Mora worked for Meta for nearly five years before the layoffs, and said she got the first dose of the shingles vaccine but cannot receive the second after health insurance lapses.
One unnamed woman was mentioned by two of her coworkers during the protest: her child had recently had heart surgery and would struggle to afford his care after benefits lapsed.
Giulia Navarrete, another worker protesting at the headquarters, said that her insurance supports her husband and son who both require inhalers, which will cost her over $100 each without insurance. Navarrete also said that insurance delays would cause her coverage to lapse for a month even if she got a job the day she was laid off, because Meta only offered two months of coverage and many jobs take three months to receive insurance benefits.
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