Facebook’s bus drivers have scheduled an election to unionize to seek better working conditions.
Earlier this month, Teamsters Union Local 853 submitted a letter to Loop Transport, the ground transport company Facebook employs to shuttle its workers throughout the Bay Area, advising that the drivers were discussing having the union represent them. The union also addressed a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that drivers’ wages were inadequate. According to the union, most drivers earn $16 an hour.
In a statement to Fusion, 853 chief Rome Aloise said the union successfully filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to be recognized as the drivers’ bargaining agent. The drivers will now vote to make it official.
Aloise said he expects Loop to attempt to block the unionization effort and “intimidate and harass the drivers,” adding “Facebook bears the responsibility for the actions of Loop.”
Facebook declined to comment. In an emailed statement, Loop CEO Jeff Leonoudakis said his firm has no plans to bargain with the union.
“The Teamsters leaders don’t represent our drivers, so it is inappropriate for us to meet with them at this time,” he said. “We provide one of the best wage and benefits packages in the Bay Area, including fully covered health benefits, paid vacation, holidays and sick days.”
If successful, the drivers would represent one of the first successful unionization efforts among service workers at a major tech company since Apple janitors formed a union in the ‘90s.
Earlier this month, Google decided to make all its security guards full-time employees after those workers notified the search giant they were attempting to unionize to gain more regular schedules.
Yesterday, a group representing Uber drivers in San Francisco and New York staged a protest against fare reductions and the company’s tipping rules. The group, the California App-Based Drivers Association, is closely aligned with the Teamsters but not an official member.