The bus drivers that shuttle Facebook employees to and from the company’s Menlo Park campus have voted to unionize.
According to PBS San Francisco affiliate KQED News, the drivers will join Teamsters Local 853 after voting 43-28 in favor of unionizing. The Facebook drivers are the first technology company shuttle bus drivers to approve unionization.
“This is a great day for these employees and for labor and the middle class,” Teamsters organizer Rodney Smith told KQED.
The Facebook shuttle bus drivers reportedly take employees from their Berkeley, San Francisco, or other area homes and bring them to the Menlo Park campus, then wait for hours until the employees are ready to go home. The drivers do not get paid for the hours they wait.
One driver who voted yes, Demaurae Houston, told KQED that it came down to fairness.
“[The] average person on that bus is probably making about $122,000 minimum,” Houston said. “And they’re not paying us half of that. So it’s not fair. It’s really not fair.”
Facebook’s transportation contractors, Loop Transportation, issued a statement after the election:
“Loop Transportation respects the election results and the decision of our drivers who service Facebook. Even though we don’t feel that our drivers’ interests are best served by union representation, our drivers have spoken and we will now begin the negotiation process.”
The company told KQED it pays drivers between $17 and $25 an hour, already “among the highest in the commuter bus industry.”
Photo: File (Google bus protest)