Nerd Herders Organizing For a Voice
Teamsters in Silicon Valley Organize shuttle bus drivers at Facebook and Google
Teamsters led an action in the Castro section of the city today to protest working conditions for high tech bus drivers. The 600 members of Teamsters Local 853 are seeking a secure retirement and fair contract.
The drivers for WeDriveU and Loop/Hallcon transport employees for high tech companies including Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Electronic Arts, Lam and Facebook.
"We said from Day One that we will not recommend a contract without retirement security. Today was our show of force to stand together with the goal of a secure pension for high tech shuttle drivers," said Stacy Murphy, Teamsters Local 853 Vice President.
Teamsters with signs that read, "Silicon Valley can afford to give its drivers a secure retirement," lined up at the intersection of 18th and Castro Streets where Teamster-driven high tech buses stopped. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) officials were on hand to observe and Mayor London Breed was notified of the action.
The disruptions in service that resulted from this morning's action could put the contractors in violation of the labor harmony requirements in the SFMTA's permits with its contractors.
Under the labor harmony provision passed in 2015, a failure to operate responsibly could lead to the revocation of the commuter shuttle company's permit, including if a labor dispute affects MTA operations.
The Teamsters Union has been in negotiations with the contractors since March 2018. The workers are seeking a strong retirement plan and wage increases retroactive to the expiration of the agreement on March 31. The contractors have only offered the workers nine weeks of pay.
"Harvey Milk, a union supporter, would have been proud to see Teamsters blocking Silicon Valley buses in the Castro to send the message that workers matter," said Doug Bloch, Political Director for Teamsters Joint Council 7. "These are hugely wealthy corporations that can no doubt afford to do better."
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, visit, www.siliconvalleyrising.org.
This post was written by Teamster JC 7.